EISCAT_3D Preparatory Phase

The aim of the Preparatory Phase was to ensure that the EISCAT_3D project reached a sufficient level of maturity with respect to technical, legal and financial issues so that the implementation of the EISCAT_3D radar system could begin immediately after the conclusion of the phase.

The Preparatory Phase took place between October 2010 and September 2014, and continued from the conclusions found in the Design Study that was concluded in 2009.

The EISCAT_3D Preparatory Phase was funded by the European Commission under the call FP7-INFRASTRUCTURES-2010-1 “Construction of new infrastructures: providing catalytic and leveraging support for the construction of new research infrastructures”.

Material regarding the Preparatory Phase is compiled here.

FP7 logoEU flag

Introduction to the EISCAT_3D Preparatory Phase

EISCAT_3D will be Europe's next-generation radar for the study of the high-latitude atmosphere and geospace, located in northern Scandinavia. EISCAT_3D's capabilities go well beyond anything currently available to the international research community. The facility will consist of several very large phased-array antenna transmitters/receivers and multiple receiver sites, distributed over at least three countries and comprising up to 100,000 individual antenna elements. This new type of volumetric imaging radar represents a significant enhancement to the European Research area. EISCAT_3D will be capable of making measurements from the middle atmosphere to the magnetosphere and beyond, contributing to the basic environmental and applied science that underpins the use of space by contemporary society.

The new infrastructure is designed to provide long-term continuous data for the Earth system science community, measuring the effects of man-made change and natural variability on the middle and upper atmosphere. Securing an understanding of these processes and their potential contribution to global change is a key objective for international science in the 21st century. EISCAT_3D will enhance our knowledge of planetary atmospheres by revealing the interactions between geospace and the atmosphere, through its novel measurement capabilities and location at high latitudes in the auroral zone and at the edge of the polar vortex. It offers a unique research opportunity to study solar system influences, such as solar wind, meteors, dust, energetic particles and cosmic rays, through collaborations with other research infrastructures existing in Northern Fenno-Scandinavia.

The EISCAT_3D Preparatory Phase actions will help position EISCAT Scientific Association to begin implementing the new infrastructure in 2014. In addition, they will provide a framework enabling various kinds of national funding contributions to be integrated into the Preparatory Phase, some of which have already been approved, some of which are still under review, and others which will be the subject of future funding applications. In order to prepare for the new infrastructure much logistical work needs to be done to confirm site selection, involving negotiations with landowners and local communities and the securing of land rights and permissions to build. Minimization of radio interference at each site, as well as access to the required infrastructure and services, will be key issues. The process of securing frequency allocations from the relevant national telecommunication authorities was begun during the FP6 Design Study, but needs to be completed so that frequency allocations are assured to available during the lifetime of the facility.

The scientific requirements for the new infrastructure have a major influence on the system design, and the science plan will need to be continuously updated in response to new user requirements. In particular, the project sets a high priority on expanding the user base into the space weather and middle atmosphere communities which have not been strong users of EISCAT in the past. As well as publicising the project to other scientists, we need to conduct high-quality outreach and to produce promotional materials which address future partners, stakeholders and the general public. There is also the critical issue of assembling the funding consortium for the Implementation Phase, consolidating the cost model, securing commitments of funds and examining what revisions, if any, might be needed to the existing structure of EISCAT in order to allow the new infrastructure to be constructed. A key aim of the Preparatory Phase is to extend the membership of EISCAT through the inclusion of additional member countries, an activity which will require considerable preparation and discussion with the new partners. An important initial task for the Preparatory Phase is to produce a system specification that fully captures the results of the FP6 Design Study and defines target parameters for those remaining parts of the system where the design still needs to be finalised.

While the FP6 Design Study successfully tied down many of the requirements for the hardware and software of EISCAT_3D there are still some areas where work remains to be done. These are the final specification of the digital signal processing system, the finalisation of the antenna design and the specification of mass-producible transmitter modules. Other tasks are to identify the optimum number and placement of the EISCAT_3D antennas for imaging applications, and identifying the required software for signal processing of the new radar experiments to be implemented on the new radar and developing methods for their analysis.

EISCAT_3D has been designed as a largely automated system capable of long-period unattended operation. The envisaged system will be largely self-controlled, using intelligent software to run multiple simultaneous experiments and adapting its experimental mode in response to changing conditions. The Preparatory Phase specifies the control system required for a radar of this complexity. The manner in which the data handling system should be implemented within the existing Scandinavian e-infrastructure will also be determined and this necessitates a close collaboration with other European programmes in networking, grid processing and high-performance computing. There is also a need to engage with potential manufacturers to finalise the design of those system components which need to be massproduced, in order to demonstrate that they can be produced in the required numbers at the required levels of cost and reliability.

Important documents

In the EISCAT_3D Preparatory Phase, several important documents are produced. They are collected here.

Work Plan

The Work Plan outlines the plan for the work in the EISCAT_3D Preparatory Phase project.

The Work Plan was revised early 2013.

Science Case

The EISCAT_3D Science Case is a document that is prepared as a part of the EISCAT_3D Preparatory Phase project, under Work Package 3. It states our vision of the long-term science strategy for the radar system.

The EISCAT_3D Science Case is a living document that is updated regularly with annual new releases.

EISCAT_3D technical description

The EISCAT_3D technical description is a document describing the present view of the technical aspects of the project. The contents of the document are updated as the project proceeds.

Performance Specification

The purpose of the Performance Specification for EISCAT_3D is to provide a framework for the technical activities within the EISCAT_3D Preparatory Phase project. The production of the Performance Specification is a tasks in Work Package 6.

This early version of the Performance Specification consists of three different documents:

Radar System Concept
Strategic overview of the EISCAT_3D instrument concept, design, planned performance characteristics, and capabilities.
Radar System Design
The detailed design of the EISCAT_3D radar system.
Engineering Specification
Specification of the engineering requirements for the EISCAT_3D system.

These are living documents that are updated regularly throughout the project.

Radar System Concept

The Radar System Concept is a strategic overview of the EISCAT_3D instrument concept, design, planned performance characteristics, and capabilities.

This is a living document that is updated regularly throughout the project.

Radar System Design

The Radar System Design is a detailed design philosophy document that is intended to facilitate communication between scientists engineers and other participants in the EISCAT_3D project.

This is a living document that is updated regularly throughout the project.

Engineering Specification

The Engineering Specification contains the details needed for building the EISCAT_3D radar system

This is a living document that is updated regularly throughout the project.

Handbook of measurement principles

A handbook of measurement principles for incoherent scatter radar systems is produced as part of Work Package 6 of the EISCAT_3D Preparatory Phase project. The handbook describes how the radar system performance is optimised by applying innovative concepts in signal processing, coding, data handling and data analysis. This handbook will be used as a framework for software and experiment development in the future EISCAT_3D system.

The handbook is expanded and iterated throughout the project.

The FP7 application document

EISCAT, in lead of a consortium consisting of nine partners, has successfully submitted, and negotiated, the bid for the Preparatory Phase under the European Commission FP7-INFRASTRUCTURES-2010-1 “Construction of new infrastructures: providing catalytic and leveraging support for the construction of new research infrastructures” and more specifically, INFRA‐2010‐2.2.1: EISCAT_3D Upgrade.

The INFRA-2010-2.2 call is only for supporting new research infrastructures and eleven projects were invited to bid. The total indicative EC budget for this specific call is 45 M€.

The preparatory phase, provided the proposal is granted the funds, will start 1 October 2010 and run for four years.

The project will address all foreseen matters in finalising the technical details, securing build funds and establish the consortium that will operate EISCAT_3D.

The complete system will consist of a combination of active (both transmit and receive) and passive (receive only) sites spread around in the northern parts of Finland, Norway and Sweden.

An important part of this project will be the interaction between the developers and the current and envisaged user groups that will use EISCAT_3D either directly or indirectly by using the standard data it will produce.

In this context, EISCAT has established an Associate Partner mechanism where interested organisations can associate with the project and become involved already in the early stages of the preparatory work.

The plan in the final application document (attached below) was kept intact through the negotiations.

Outreach plan

The outreach plan for EISCAT_3D defines the various types of material that need to be produced in order to publicise the EISCAT_3D project, the priority order in which this material should be produced and to also identify the various different audiences which the project needs to address. The outreach activities are coordinated through Work Package 4 in the EISCAT_3D Preparatory Phase project.

The outreach plan is a living document and is maintained and continuously updated as the project moves forward.

EISCAT_3D planning document

Document initially prepared for use by Swedish Research Council, and eventually intended to be used as a White Paper for the EISCAT_3D project.

Reply to ESFRI Questionnaire 2012

In the second half of 2012 the European Commission started to review the progress towards implementation of all projects currently on the 2010 ESFRI Roadmap. To this end a group of high level experts has been appointed with the objective of evaluating the financial and managerial maturity the projects. These experts will need to identify if there are any specific bottlenecks and make recommendations on how to best address them, as well as indicating the feasibility for these projects to be implemented by 2015. To this end, they sent out a questionnaire about the latest information on the projects.

The reply from EISCAT about EISCAT_3D is available for download.

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PDF icon Reply to ESFRI Questionnaire2.4 MB

EISCAT_3D e-infrastructure planning

The EISCAT_3D e-infrastructure planning is a document prepared by EISCAT headquarters in collaboration with WP 13 of the Preparatory Phase Project. Its original use was for discussions with the Panel for Infrastructure at the Swedish Research Council.

Timetable of Deliverables and Milestones

This is the timetable for the Deliverables and the Milestones as defined by the plan for the EISCAT_3D Preparatory Phase.

A Deliverable represents a verifiable output of the project. They are denoted by Dx.y in the timetable below, where x is the number of the relevant Work Package and y is the number of the Deliverable within that Work Package.

A Milestone is a control point where decisions are needed with regard to the next stage of the project. They are denoted by Mx.y in the timetable below, where x is the number of the relevant Work Package and y is the number of the Milestone within that Work Package.

October 2010
Kick-off meeting (M1.1) [OK]
November 2010
Establishment of the initial version of the Science Working Group (M3.1) [OK]
First version of the low-level simulation software available (M10.1) [OK]
December 2010
Technical advisory committee (TAC) formed (M1.2) [OK]
List of contact persons/groups in prospective new EISCAT_3D user communities (D3.1) [OK, Restricted access]
New project web site launched (M4.1) [OK]
Define and upgrade project web site (D4.1) [OK]
Outreach plan (D4.2) [OK]
January 2011
Initial contact list (D4.3) [OK, Restricted access]
Preliminary evaluation of the different image inversion algorithms ready (M10.2) [OK]
March 2011
Discussions on frequency allocations concluded and permissions obtained (M2.1) [cancelled]
Signed agreements on frequency allocations (D2.1) [cancelled]
First list of potential partner organisations available (M5.1) [OK]
Initial list of potential EISCAT_3D partner organisations (D5.1) [OK, Restricted access]
Initial version of the performance specification document ready (M6.1) [OK]
Initial version of the handbook of measurement principles ready (M6.2) [OK]
Initial performance specification document (D6.1) [OK]
Initial version of the handbook of measurement principles (D6.2) [OK]
Preliminary simulations for optimal outlying receiving site configurations completed (M10.3) [OK]
May 2011
Workshop to publicise the potential of EISCAT_3D to the middle and lower atmosphere community (M3.2) [OK]
June 2011
Initial revision of the EISCAT_3D science case (D3.2) [OK]
Simulations for optimal outlying receiving site configurations completed (M10.4) [OK]
Report on the study of outlying receiving site configurations (D10.1) [OK]
July 2011
First exciter prototype in operation (M9.1) [OK]
September 2011
New site surveys completed and selected sites identified (M2.2) [OK]
Report listing the preferred sites (D2.2) [OK, , Restricted access]
First Annual Report on WP3 activities (D3.3) [OK]
Initial library of outreach materials ready (M4.2) [OK]
Outreach materials (D4.4) [OK]
First update of project costs and initial review of funding possibilities available (M5.2) [OK]
First annual report on consortium building activities (D5.2) [OK, Restricted access]
Integrated performance specification ready (M6.3) [OK]
First version of an integrated performance specification (D6.3) [OK]
Hardware acquired for field-testing (M7.1) [OK]
Report on proposed implementation of digital signal processing (D7.1) [OK]
Initial design of the individual antenna elements completed (M8.1) [OK]
Final version of the low-level simulation software ready (M10.5)) [OK]
October 2011
“All-Hands” meeting held (M1.3) [OK]
Revision of the exciter design finalised (M9.2) [OK]
December 2011
Completion of preliminary plans for the sampling hardware (M7.2) [OK]
Report on the design of the digital exciter (D9.1) [OK]
Different image inversion algorithms evaluated and ranked (M10.6) [OK]
March 2012
Initial library of funding application materials ready (M4.3) [OK]
Material for funding applications (D4.5) [OK]
Hardware ready for field-testing (M7.3) [OK]
Initial specification of the antenna elements and antenna array configuration completed (M8.2) [OK]
Report on the results of the transmitting/receiving antenna beam matching (D10.2) [OK]
Initial versions of signal processing and beam-forming (M11.1) [OK]
EISCAT_3D_2 periodic report 1 (October 2010 - March 2012) [OK]
May 2012
Workshop to publicise the potential of EISCAT_3D to the applications and modelling communities (M3.3) [OK]
June 2012
Distributed version of EROS completed and demonstrated (M12.1) [cancelled]
July 2012
Two additional exciter units, using the revised design delivered (M9.3) [OK]
Functional image inversion and visualisation software designed to work with data from the EISCAT_3D system (D10.3) [OK]
September 2012
Interim report covering land rights (D2.3) [OK, Restricted access]
Second annual report on WP3 activities (D3.4) [OK]
Second annual report on consortium building activities (D5.3) [OK, Restricted access]
Annual review of the evolving performance specification (M6.4) [OK]
Annual status report on the Performance Specification activity (D6.4) [OK]
Performance validation completed for the first front-end prototype (M8.3) [OK]
The evaluation of possible synchronisation/calibration solutions finished and decided upon (M8.4) [OK]
Report on the evaluation of possible synchronisation/calibration solutions (D8.1) [OK]
Final report on all activities performed in WP10 (D10.4) [OK]
Completion of FLIPS development (M11.2) [OK]
October 2012
“All-Hands” meeting held (M1.4) [OK]
Mid-way project summary meeting (M1.5) [OK]
December 2012
First operation of beam-steering capabilities demonstrated (M9.4) [OK]
January 2013
Evaluation of T/R switch prototypes completed (M9.5) [OK]
February 2013
Technical report on the T/R switch design (D9.2) [OK]
March 2013
Report containing the conclusions from the beam-steering tests (D9.3) [OK]
May 2013
Report on the networking requirements and provision aspects to the identified sites task completed (M13.1) [OK]
Mass-producible components identified and a comprehensive list prepared (M14.1) [OK]
August 2013
Report on consequences of signal processing strategy (M13.2) [OK]
September 2013
Conclusion of discussions with all stakeholders in selected sites (M2.3) [OK]
Final report covering all of the issues addressed by D2.3 (D2.4) [OK]
Third annual report on WP3 activities (D3.5) [OK]
Third annual report on consortium building activities (D5.4) [OK, Restricted access]
Annual review of the evolving performance specification (M6.5) [OK]
Annual status report on the performance specification activity (D6.5) [OK]
Prototype antenna manufactured (M8.5) [OK]
First prototype of the antenna ready (D8.3) [OK]
Completion of multi-purpose codes and analysis development (M11.3) [OK]
A consistent set of optimised hardware and software identified (M11.4) [OK]
Software package for EISCAT_3D data analysis (D11.1) [OK]
Comprehensive report, describing and justifying the choice of the selected hardware and software (D11.2) [OK]
Completed version of EROS for EISCAT_3D (D12.1) [cancelled]
A list of potential suppliers of the mass-producible components compiled (M14.2) [note]
EISCAT_3D_2 periodic report 2 (April 2012 - September 2013) [OK]
October 2013
“All-Hands” meeting held (M1.6) [OK]
November 2013
Testing and validation procedures for each component of the EISCAT_3D system specified (M14.3) [note]
January 2014
Prototype signal processing unit ready (M7.5) [OK]
Prototype signal processing unit (D7.3) [OK]
Report with design specification of power amplifiers (D9.4) [OK]
Required extensions to EROS completed and assessed (M12.2) [OK]
Report on the analysis of the different data products (D13.1) [cancelled]
March 2014
Final report on WP12 activities (D12.2) [OK]
Recommendations regarding data distribution, archiving, services and analysis (M13.3) [OK]
May 2014
Report on the completed design and testing of the antenna elements and the antenna array (D8.2) [OK]
Report on the optimized front-end, including electrical, calibration, mechanical and manufacturing (D8.4) [OK]
July 2014
Final version of the EISCAT_3D science case (D3.6) [OK]
Final report on all WP8 activities (D8.5) [OK]
Final report on all the activities in WP13 (D13.2) [OK]
Conclusion of the prototyping and verification period (M14.4) [OK]
August 2014
Completion of field-testing exercise (M7.4) [OK]
Report on the results from the field testing exercise and proof of concept (D7.2) [OK]
Final report summarising the work done in WP7 (D7.4) [OK]
September 2014
End of project summary meeting (M1.7) [OK]
Summary management report (D1.1) [...]
Report on the final status of the consortium (D5.5) [OK]
Final Performance specification document published as a template for the implementation phase (M6.6) [OK]
Final version of the performance specification document (D6.6) [OK]
Handbook of measurement principles (D6.7) [OK]
Summary of the findings from the prototyping and verification process (D14.1) [OK, Restricted access]
Technical input to the request for quotations for all mass-producible components ready (D14.2) [OK]
Final Report on WP14 (D14.3) [OK]
EISCAT_3D_2 periodic report 3 (October 2013 - September 2014) [OK]
EISCAT_3D_2 final report [OK]

EISCAT_3D meetings 2012

A list of EISCAT_3D meetings planned for 2012:

6-7 February
EISCAT_3D Executive Board physical meeting (Arlanda, Sweden)
in April
EISCAT_3D "Small hands meeting" (Location not decided)
17 April
Third EISCAT_3D_2 General Assembly (Copenhagen, Denmark)
in May
EISCAT_3D Executive Board physical meeting (Location not decided)
23-25 May
Fourth EISCAT_3D User Meeting (Uppsala, Sweden)
in August
EISCAT_3D Executive Board physical meeting (Location not decided)
in October
Second EISCAT_3D_2 All Hands Meeting (Location not decided)
in October
Mid-way EISCAT_3D project review meeting (In connection with the all-hands meeting)
in November
EISCAT_3D Executive Board physical meeting (Location not decided)

General Assembly

The General Assembly is the ultimate decision-making body of the EISCAT_3D Preparatory Phase consortium. It consists of one representative from each of the participating entities and two representatives from the Coordinator (EISCAT).

The General Assembly will have an ordinary meeting at least once per year, and additional meetings can be requested by the Executive Board or by General Assembly members. The representative from the Coordinator chairs alls meetings of the General Assembly, unless decided otherwise for a particular meeting.

The General Assembly is able to make decisions regarding the contents of the Work Packages, finances, intellectual property rights and the evolution of the consortium. The decisions of the General Assembly should be accepted by all members of the EISCAT_3D consortium. The General Assembly shall be free to act on its own initiative to formulate proposals and take decisions. In addition, all proposals made by the Executive Board shall also be considered and decided upon by the General Assembly.

The members of the EISCAT_3D General Assembly are:

  • Esa Turunen (EISCAT Scientific Association)
  • Henrik Andersson (EISCAT Scientific Association)
  • Cesar La Hoz (Universitetet i Tromsø)
  • Jerker Delsing (Luleå Tekniska Universitet)
  • Lars Eliasson (Institutet för Rymdfysik)
  • Anita Aikio (Oulun Yliopisto)
  • Tomas Andersson (Vetenskapsrådet)
  • Leif Johansson (National Instruments)
  • Richard Harrison (Science and Technology Facilities Council Rutherford Appleton Laboratory)

Executive Board

The Executive Board acts as the supervisory body for the execution of the EISCAT_3D Preparatory Phase. The Executive Board prepares the meetings, proposes decisions and prepares the agenda of the General Assembly, and it seeks a consensus among the members of the consortium. It is responsible for the proper execution and implementation of the decisions of the General Assembly and it monitors the effective and efficient implementation of EISCAT_3D Preparatory Phase project.

The members of the EISCAT_3D Executive Board are:

  • Henrik Andersson (EISCAT Scientific Association)
  • Craig Heinselman (EISCAT Scientific Association)
  • Jonny Johansson (Luleå Tekniska Universitet)
  • Unni Pia Løvhaug (Universitetet i Tromsø)
  • Ingrid Mann (EISCAT Scientific Association)
  • Ian McCrea (Science and Technology Facilities Council Rutherford Appleton Laboratory)
  • Thomas Ulich (Oulun Yliopisto/Sodankylän Geofysiikan Observatorio)

Technical Advisory Committee

The Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) is the monitoring body for the technical execution of the EISCAT_3D Preparatory Phase. It consists of a Technical Coordinator, appointed by the Coordinator, and up to four other members.

TAC receives and reviews reports from each Work Package leader describing the technical progress of his/her Work Package and the upcoming plans. It reviews and assesses the levels of existing and planned technical coordination between the various Work Packages of the project as well as the levels of existing and planned technical coordination between the various project partners, including their sub-contractors and affiliated entities. It also provides regular feedback to each Work Package leader, assessing the progress of each Work Package, the interactions between the Work Packages and the project participants, and makes recommendations for future actions.

The members of the Technical Advisory Committee are:

WP1: Project management and reporting

The management Work Package runs throughout the Preparatory Phase, ensuring a smooth and efficient approach towards the objectives of the EISCAT_3D project, with respect to both financial management and general project administration. It will interact with all the other Work Packages in the EISCAT_3D Preparatory Phase to provide overall coordination within the project.

The work package comprises the following tasks:

  • Maintaining a management team whose members will carry out the administration of the EISCAT_3D Preparatory Phase.
  • Maintaining the project activity plan, with changes being made as necessary to ensure the efficient and timely delivery of the project goals
  • Organising all the necessary project meetings, including kick-off, finalisation and regular progress meetings.
  • Maintaining a close communication with all of the partners and with the responsible scientific officer at the Commission.
  • Ensuring the correct administration of the project finances, including the preparation of budgets and regular financial monitoring and reporting.
  • Overseeing the timely preparation and submission of all project reports required by the Commission.

Deliverable 1.1: Summary management report

The final report of the EISCAT_3D Preparatory Phase project contains a summary management report.

Milestone 1.1: Kick-off meeting

The EISCAT_3D Preparatory Phase project started with a kick-off meeting at Clarion Hotel Stockholm. This meeting was Milestone 1.1 of the project.

Kick-off of EISCAT_3D Preparatory Phase

This Milestone was reached in October 2010.

Milestone 1.2: Technical Advisory Committee established

The Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) is the monitoring body for the technical execution of the EISCAT_3D Preparatory Phase. It consists of a Technical Coordinator, appointed by the Coordinator, up to four members from the consortium members involved in technical development within EISCAT_3D and at least two external members. Except for the Technical Coordinator, the Executive Board is appointing the members to the TAC.

The Technical Coordinator chairs all meetings of the TAC, unless decided otherwise for a specific meeting. There are ordinary meetings at least every six months, and extra meetings when necessary.

The TAC receives and reviews reports every six months from each Work Package leader describing the technical progress of his/her Work Package and the plans for the next six-month period. It reviews and assesses the levels of existing and planned technical coordination between the various Work Packages of the project as well as the levels of existing and planned technical coordination between the various project partners, including their sub-contractors and affiliated entities. It also provides regular feedback to each Work Package leader, assessing the progress of each Work Package, the interactions between the Work Packages and the project participants, and makes recommendations for future actions. Another task of the Technical Advisory Committee is to produce six-monthly reports to the Coordinator and Executive Board on the technical status of the project, including the assessment of overall performance and recommendations for actions over the next six-month period.

EISCAT has chosen

  • Frank Lind (MIT Haystack Observatory, USA)

to function as Technical Coordinator, and since the structure of the Technical Advisor Committee has been established by the Executive Board, this Milestone is reached (February 2011).

Milestone 1.3: “All-Hands” meeting held

The EISCAT_3D Preparatory Phase had its first all-hands meeting at Space Campus, Kiruna, on 11-13 October 2011. This meeting was Milestone 1.3 of the project.

This Milestone was reached in October 2011.

Milestone 1.4: “All-Hands” meeting held

The EISCAT_3D Preparatory Phase had its second all-hands meeting at Space Campus, Kiruna, on 12-13 November 2012. This meeting was Milestone 1.4 of the project.

This Milestone was reached in November 2012.

Milestone 1.5: Mid-way project summary meeting

The Mid-way project summary meeting was held in connection to the second EISCAT_3D Preparatory Phase All-hands meeting.

Milestone 1.6: “All-Hands” meeting held

Instead of the originally planned third all-hands meeting, a meeting for the people involved in the technically oriented Work Packages took place on 5 November, 2013, at Space Campus in Kiruna. The idea of this meeting was to bridge the gaps between the activities of the technical Work Packages so that the full system can be designed from the different parts. This meeting is Milestone 1.6.

The all-hands meeting will instead take place in spring 2014 together with the project final meeting.

This Milestone was reached in November 2013.

Milestone 1.7: End of project summary meeting

The EISCAT_3D Preparatory Phase had an end-of-project summary meeting at Space Campus, Kiruna, on 10-12 September 2014, including a public project summary presentation.

This meeting was Milestone 1.7 of the project and it was reached in September 2014.

Periodic Report 1 (1 October 2010 - 31 March 2012)

This first Periodic Report covers the first 18 months of the 4-year Preparatory Phase project for the EISCAT_3D facility, Europe's next-generation radar for the study of the high-latitude atmosphere and geospace. It addresses both the technical and the financial aspects of the project, and has been submitted to the European Commission for evaluation.

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PDF icon First EISCAT_3D Periodic Report527.37 KB

Periodic Report 2 (1 April 2012 - 30 September 2013)

The second Periodic Report covers the months 19 to 36 of the 4-year Preparatory Phase project for the EISCAT_3D facility (Europe's next-generation radar for the study of the high-latitude atmosphere and geospace). It addresses the project coordination and management, as well as the technical and financial aspects of the project. It has been submitted to the European Commission for evaluation.

Periodic report 3 (October 2013 - September 2014)

The third Periodic Report covers the months 37 to 48 of the 4-year Preparatory Phase project for the EISCAT_3D facility (Europe's next-generation radar for the study of the high-latitude atmosphere and geospace). It addresses the project coordination and management, as well as the technical and financial aspects of the project. It has been submitted to the European Commission for evaluation.

EISCAT_3D_2 Final Report

The final report of the EISCAT_3D_2 project goes through the project context and its objectives, results and impact.

WP2: Legal and logistical issues

This work package contains all the support activities needed to clarify the site selection and infrastructure issues needed for the construction and operation of EISCAT_3D. The outputs of this work package will be a complete costing of the work required to develop the selected sites, such that construction can begin immediately at the start of the implementation phase. This task will be coordinated by EISCAT, and any new site surveys that are needed will be carried out by EISCAT staff.

The required activities are as follows:

  • Finalising the site selection, and identifying all the relevant stakeholders and administrative issues which have to be addressed in order to allow construction to start at the selected sites.
  • Identifying the necessary steps to provide access to relevant infrastructure (power, utilities, networking, transport) at the selected sites.
  • Quantifying the full costs of each site development.

The EU-funded activities outlined above will be supplemented by nationally-funded work in support of the EISCAT_3D project. WP2 will coordinate all the efforts in site selection, working these nationally-funded activities, resolving any issues which they cannot address and integrating their results with the other Preparatory Phase activities. The involvement of the University of Tromsø in this work package reflects the need to ensure that the EU-funded and nationally-funded activities are closely coordinated. In addition, this package needs to maintain close coordination with WP3 (science planning and user engagement), WP5 (consortium building), WP8 (antenna, front end and time synchronisation), WP9 (transmitter), WP10 (Aperture Synthesis Imaging Radar) and WP13 (Data handling and distribution) all of which have the potential to affect the choice of sites and the configuration of the deployed hardware.

Note that access to Deliverable 2.2 (Report listing the preferred sites) and Deliverable 2.3 (Interim report covering land rights) is only available to participants of the EISCAT_3D Preparatory Phase project.

Deliverable 2.1: Signed agreements on frequency allocations

In the original plan, the ongoing discussions on frequency allocations in Norway, Sweden and Finland was to be concluded at an early stage in the project. It has turned out that a change in the strategy for obtaining frequency allocations is needed compared to what was originally thought. Because the negotiations involve simultaneous discussions with agencies from three countries, they need to be performed on a level which lies beyond the scope of the EISCAT_3D Preparatory Phase and will thus take place outside the project

This means that Deliverable 2.1 will not be produced inside the EISCAT_3D Preparatory Phase project, since the negotiations will take place elsewhere.

Deliverable 2.4: Final report covering all of the issues addressed by Deliverable 2.3

Work Package 2 of the EISCAT_3D Preparatory Phase project contains support activities needed in order to clarify the site selection and to identify infrastructural issues that need to be resolved before the implementation of the EISCAT_3D system.

Deliverable 2.4 is the final report on these activities.

Milestone 2.1: Discussions on frequency allocations concluded and permissions obtained

In the original plan, the ongoing discussions on frequency allocations in Norway, Sweden and Finland was to be concluded at an early stage in the project. It has turned out that a change in the strategy for obtaining frequency allocations is needed compared to what was originally thought. Because the negotiations involve simultaneous discussions with agencies from three countries, they need to be performed on a level which lies beyond the scope of the EISCAT_3D Preparatory Phase and will thus take place outside the project

This means that Milestone 2.1 will not be reached inside the EISCAT_3D Preparatory Phase project, since the negotiations will take place elsewhere.

Milestone 2.2: New site surveys completed and selected sites identified

During the FP6 Design Study, surveys were conducted at several candidate sites to establish the availability of sufficient level, dry ground, away from contaminating signals, with suitable access to local services. In the Preparatory Phase more sites have to be surveyed depending on the conclusions from site configuration evaluations, and some of the earlier candidate sites may need to be re-visited for more thorough studies.

The objective of the site survey is to find potential construction sites for the EISCAT_3D radar system following the Performance Specification made in Work Package 6:

  • A central transmitting/receiving core, located in Norway, within roughly 100 km of a point at at 69 degrees North and 20.5 degrees East.
  • Two receiving facilities, located at ground distances of 90-120 km roughly south and west of the transmitting facility, respectively.
  • Two receiving facilities, located at ground distances of 220-280 km roughly south and east of the transmitting facility, respectively.
  • The locations that have been surveyed during the Preparatory Phase Project are,

    • Ramfjordmoen, Norway
    • Skibotn, Norway
    • Kautokeino, Norway
    • Karasjokk, Norway
    • Bergfors, Sweden
    • Järämä, Sweden
    • Karesuando, Sweden

    Information about the site selection process can be found in Deliverable 2.2 (Report listing the preferred sites) (note: restricted access), and more details about the site survey in the Site survey report.

    The completion of the site surveys is Milestone 2.2. This Milestone was reached in August 2013.

Milestone 2.3: Conclusion of discussions with all stakeholders in selected sites

One of the activities in Work Package 2 concerned identifying the
stakeholders (landowners, local communities, local and regional governing bodies) relevant to each potential EISCAT_3D site. After their identification, negotiations should commence with these stakeholders in order to be able to purchase and use the land. These negotiations depends to some degree on having a firm decision from funding of the EISCAT_3D system. These negotiations have reached as far as they can without this decision.

This point in the negotiations corresponds to Milestone 2.3 in the EISCAT_3D Preparatory Phase project, which was reached in June 2014.

WP3: Science planning and user engagement

In order to secure the greatest possible number of users for EISCAT_3D, strenuous efforts are required to extend the user base beyond the existing EISCAT user community. The extended user community must reflect the increased capabilities of EISCAT_3D and fulfil the requirement to maximise the impact of the new infrastructure. This Work Package covers all those activities needed to engage with the new users whose activities will come within the scope of the enhanced facility.

More than simply contacting new users, a key activity will be gathering their requirements for the science topics that they will address, and the different types of new experiment which they would like to run. These, in turn, need to feed into the design and implementation of the new infrastructure. This Work Package covers the gathering of these requirements, the continuous updating of the Science Case and its tensioning against the capabilities of the new radar, as they become progressively more well-defined. The activity will be coordinated by a working group with a rolling membership so that, during the course of its existence, the full range of potential users can be represented. In addition, two workshops will be held, targeted at specific groups. These different methods of user engagement will allow us to exploit the skills and expertise of the Associate Partners in EISCAT_3D.

The detailed objectives are as follows:

  • Identification of contact persons/groups in neighbouring communities and discussions about new applications of EISCAT_3D. Formation of a science working group comprising existing EISCAT users and scientists wishing to use EISCAT_3D for these new applications.
  • First revision of the EISCAT_3D science case and assessment of implications for the Performance Specification Document. If necessary, changes to the Performance Specification Documentation to ensure that the new applications can be factored into the EISCAT_3D design.
  • Regular rotation of the working group, so that it continuously brings in new people and ideas, providing regular feedback into the evolving science case and system specification.
  • Organisation of targeted workshops designed to bring together existing EISCAT users with new users in the atmospheric science and space weather communities.
  • Final versions of the EISCAT_3D science case and performance specification which fully reflect the combined demands of the expanded user community.

Note that access to Deliverable 3.1 (List of contacts in prospective new EISCAT_3D user communities) is only available to participants of the EISCAT_3D Preparatory Phase project.

Deliverable 3.2: Initial revision of the EISCAT_3D Science Case

This is the first revision of the EISCAT_3D Science Case.

Initial revision of the EISCAT_3D Science Case

The Science Case will be revisited in future iterations.

The initial revision of the Science Case (Deliverable 3.2) (21.9MB)

Deliverable 3.3: First Annual Report on WP3 activities

The first Annual Report on WP3 activities describes what has been done within the framework of Work Package 3 during the first year of the project. It also contains a summary of the first user engagement workshop and the current version of the EISCAT_3D Science Case as well as the WP3 input into other work packages in the project such as WP2 (legal and logistical issues), WP11 (Software development), WP12 (System control) and WP13 (data segment).

Deliverable 3.4: Second annual report on WP3 activities

The second Annual Report on WP3 activities describes the activities in Work Package 3 of the EISCAT_3D Preparatory Phase project during the second year of the project. These activities include the second iteration of the Science Working Group, an EISCAT_3D workshop dedicated to space weather and modelling communities and an update of the EISCAT_3D Science Case.

Deliverable 3.5: Third annual report on WP3 activities

The third annual report on WP3 activities describes the activities in Work Package 3 of the EISCAT_3D Preparatory Phase project during the third year of the project (October 2012 - September 2013). These activities include the third iteration of the Science Working Group and their meetings, the 5th EISCAT_3D User Meeting and other activities.

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PDF icon WP3_3rd_annual_report.pdf69.87 KB

Deliverable 3.6: Final version of the EISCAT_3D science case

This is the final revision of the EISCAT_3D Science Case.

Final revision of the EISCAT_3D Science Case

The final revision of the Science Case (Deliverable 3.6) (14.34 MB)

Milestone 3.1: Establishment of the initial version of the Science Working Group

The first aim of Work Package 3 was to establish an initial set of members for the Science Working Group. This group combines existing EISCAT users with members of other science communities so that during the lifetime of the study this Work Package will be able to cover all of the science themes which EISCAT_3D will be capable to address. The formation of this group is Milestone 3.1.

The initial members of the Science Working Group are:

  • Dr. Anita Aikio (University of Oulu, Finland, co‐convenor)
  • Dr. Ian McCrea (STFC Rutherford Appleton Lab., UK, co‐convenor)
  • Dr. Yasanobu Ogawa (National Institute of Polar Research, Japan)
  • Prof. Kjellmar Oksavik (UNIS, Norway)
  • Prof. Asta Pellinen‐Wannberg (IRF Kiruna, Sweden)
  • Dr. Mark Clilverd (British Antarctic Survey, UK)
  • Prof. Markus Rapp (IAP Kühlungsborn, Germany)

This Milestone was reached in November 2010.

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PDF icon Summary of Progress in Work Package 359.71 KB

Milestone 3.2: Workshop to publicise the potential of EISCAT_3D to the middle and lower atmosphere community

The first day of the third EISCAT_3D Users Meeting (18-20 May 2011 in Uppsala) was dedicated to atmospheric science and the possibilities that EISCAT_3D may provide.

This workshop is Milestone 3.2 of the EISCAT_3D Preparatory Phase project.

This Milestone was reached in May 2011.

Milestone 3.3: Workshop to publicise the potential of EISCAT_3D to the applications and modelling communities

The first day of the fourth EISCAT_3D Users Meeting (23-25 May 2012 in Uppsala) was focused on space weather and modelling, and how EISCAT_3D could contribute.

This workshop is Milestone 3.3 of the EISCAT_3D Preparatory Phase project.

This Milestone was reached in May 2012.

WP4: Outreach activities

In order for EISCAT_3D to be successful, it is imperative that the project should establish and maintain a strong outreach activity, addressing the provision of publicity information to the general public, opinion-formers, and particularly aiming at the students and young people who will form the next generation of EISCAT users.

The requirements of the various stakeholder groups with whom we need to liaise will demand a variety of different approaches – the type of material we would produce for a local community, for example, is very different from the kind that would be required by a potential future industrial partner. This Work Package incorporates the development and updating of a range of publicity materials, including a comprehensive project web site, facing both inward – to provide an effective medium for the dissemination of information within the consortium, and outward – to make publicity material available to governments, prospective new users and new project partners. Other publicity media will include written material (fliers and reports), audio-visual productions (short films), project-related lectures and practical educational activities.

This Work Package enables us to maintain the project web site to a high standard whilst also preparing a range of other publicity material appropriate to the different kinds of audiences we need to address. These outputs will enable the project participants to give presentations in a range of different contexts. In order to fulfil these requirements, this Work Package will interface closely with all of the other work package leaders to ensure that their publicity and outreach needs are fulfilled.

The objectives of the Work Package are as follows:

  • Establish and maintain a project website for both internal and external use.
  • Produce an outreach plan for the project.
  • Produce and maintain a list of contacts who can advise about potential funding opportunities in the countries interested in EISCAT_3D, and consult them regularly.
  • Develop a range of EISCAT_3D publicity materials targeted at (a) national/regional governments and research councils, (b) local communities and the general public, (c) students and schools.
  • Produce and maintain a set of documents which can be used as components of further funding proposals, allowing proposals to be constructed quickly when opportunities arise.
  • Produce regularly updated presentations on the status of the project and the projected future activities, and participate in giving such presentations as well as helping the other project participants to present such material.

EISCAT Scientific Association will be responsible for this Work Package, interacting with all the other members of the consortium.

Note that access to Deliverable 4.3: Initial list of contact persons in funding and policy organisations is only available to participants of the EISCAT_3D Preparatory Phase project.

Deliverable 4.1: Define and upgrade project web site

This deliverable consists of the present web-site (www.eiscat3d.se). The project website has been put on-line and has been populated with initial project material for both internal and external audiences.

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PDF icon Report on EISCAT_3D website52.87 KB

Deliverable 4.2: Outreach plan for EISCAT_3D

This is the initial outreach plan for EISCAT_3D. The purpose of this plan is to define the various types of material that need to be produced in order to publicise the EISCAT_3D project, the priority order in which this material should be produced and to also identify the various different audiences which the project needs to address. The outreach plan is a living document and as such it will be maintained and continuously updated as the project moves forward.

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PDF icon Outreach plan for EISCAT_3D1.22 MB

Deliverable 4.4: Outreach materials

A range of publicity material is prepared following the initial outreach plan (Deliverable 4.2).

This Deliverable (Deliverable 4.4) is the initial library of such material.

The outreach material can be found at:
www.eiscat3d.se/material

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PDF icon Initial library of outreach materials25.91 MB

Deliverable 4.5: Material for funding applications

One of the tasks in this Work Package is to produce and maintain a set of documents which can be used as components of further funding proposals, allowing proposals to be constructed quickly when opportunities arise.

Deliverable 4.5 is the initial library of such material (project descriptions, objectives, strategy documents, system details) to provide raw material for future project funding applications.

This first set of material was produced in connection to the large research infrastructure funding application that was submitted in October 2012 to the Norwegian Research Council.

The initial set of material can also be found at: www.eiscat3d.se/status2012

Milestone 4.1: New project web-site launched

It is important for the EISCAT_3D Preparatory Phase project to have a web-site in order to provide a fast and reliable source of news from the project. The specific EISCAT_3D web-site (www.eiscat3d.se) has existed since early 2009, but has been updated to facilitate for the needs of the EISCAT_3D Preparatory Phase project. This update is what constitutes Milestone 4.1.

The maintenance of the website is handled by EISCAT Headquarters, but the relevant material can be produced by anybody internal or external to the project. The headline items at the web-site are shared through an RSS-feed. The web-site should contain everything related to the project, which means background information, relevant documents, information about the progress of the project and so on.

The web-site will also function as a repository of Deliverables and Milestones from the project, so that these are readily available for the general public as well as for participants of the project.

This Milestone was reached in December 2010.

Milestone 4.2: Initial library of outreach materials ready

A range of publicity material is prepared following the initial outreach plan (Deliverable 4.2). The initial library of this material is Deliverable 4.4, and the completion of this library constitutes this Milestone.

The Milestone was reached in February 2014. The material existed before that time, but this is the date the formal report was submitted.

Milestone 4.3: Initial library of funding application materials ready

One of the tasks in this Work Package is to produce and maintain a set of documents which can be used as components of further funding proposals, allowing proposals to be constructed quickly when opportunities arise.

This first set of material (Deliverable 4.5) was produced in connection to the large research infrastructure funding application that was submitted in October 2012 to the Norwegian Research Council. Thus, this Milestone was reached in October 2012.

WP5: Consortium building

Before EISCAT_3D can proceed to the implementation stage, three essential activities have to be completed. Firstly, the consortium of funding bodies which will support the new infrastructure must be identified and their contribution levels must be clarified. Secondly, a firm overview of the costs of constructing and operating the new infrastructure must be obtained and confronted to the commitments available. Thirdly, the organisational structure of EISCAT must be re-examined, in order to verify whether the new consortium can be accommodated within the framework of the present EISCAT agreement, or whether changes to the organisational structure are required. This Work Package ensures that these activities are carried out in a coordinated manner, under the overall direction of EISCAT.

The key objectives for this Work Package are as follows:

  • To initiate and undertake discussions with all of the funding partners who are potential participants in the EISCAT_3D organisation, beginning with the existing EISCAT members and affiliates, and steadily widening the discussion to include a full range of European and global partners.
  • Through these discussions, to identify opportunities to exploit different funding routes, to develop strategies to maximise these opportunities (in conjunction with WP4) and to prepare and submit suitable applications.
  • To liaise with the national space and atmospheric physics communities in the potential EISCAT_3D member countries, to encourage them to undertake independent nationallyfunded actions in support of the wider EISCAT_3D project.
  • By working closely with the participants in WP2, WP6 and WP14, to clarify the detailed costs involved in implementing EISCAT_3D, and to develop a model for how such costs could be phased if it was necessary to implement the new infrastructure in an incremental manner.
  • To reach agreement with as many new partners as possible by the time that the Preparatory Phase ends.
  • To produce a report on the status of the consortium at the end of the Preparatory Phase, to recommend a suitable structure for the new organisation and to make recommendations for how the phased implementation of the new infrastructure can be carried out, according to the funding known to be available.

The outputs of this work package will be a detailed costing of the new infrastructure, signed agreements with all those funding bodies prepared to make a financial commitment by the end of the Preparatory Phase, and the draft of a revised EISCAT agreement. A report will also be produced to clarify how the investment should be phased and how the organisational structure would work in practice, such that these recommendations can be used as the starting point when the project enters the Implementation Phase.

Note that access to Deliverables 5.1 (Initial list of potential EISCAT_3D partner organisations), 5.2 (First annual report on consortium building activities), 5.3 (Second annual report on consortium building activities) and 5.4 (Third annual report on consortium building activities) is only available to participants of the EISCAT_3D Preparatory Phase project.

Deliverable 5.5: Report on the final status of the consortium

Work Package 5 comprises

  • the discussions with existing and potential future partners
  • the clarification of project costs
  • the identification of funding opportunities
  • the completion of consortium building.

Discussions with the present and potential future partners have resulted in a number of groups that are interested joining the project in the near future. The costs for the full EISCAT_3D system were clarified during the Preparatory Phase project and a 4-stage plan to build EISCAT_3D was developed. Stage 1 will already provide world leading measurements capabilities to attract new users and expand the membership. The presently identified funding opportunities are expected to cover stage 1 and possibly stage 2.

The revised EISCAT Blue Book has been prepared and at present is subject to national consultations. It will serve as consortium agreement for EISCAT_3D. The plans and budgets prepared by the Preparatory Phase Project are now handed over to the Research Councils for negotiations on national levels.

This Deliverable is a report on the final status of the activities in this Work Package.

Milestone 5.1: First list of potential partner organisations available

As a part of the EISCAT_3D Preparatory Phase project, a list of potential EISCAT_3D partner organisations is prepared. The preparation of the initial version of this list (Deliverable 5.1) is Milestone 5.1. The access to the list is restricted due to it being a list of contact information.

This Milestone was reached in November 2011.

Milestone 5.2: First update of project costs and initial review of funding possibilities available

One important task of Work Package 5 is dedicated to the clarification of project costs. Detailed
cost estimates will be defined for the different elements of the new facility, to enable potential
funders to make informed decisions about their commitment to the project.

The first update of the project costs and the initial review of available funding possibilities was included in the first annual report on consortium building activities (Deliverable 5.2), and constitutes Milestone 5.2.

This Milestone was reached in December 2011.

WP6: Performance specification

A performance specification is essential to provide a framework for all the technical activities to be undertaken during the EISCAT_3D Preparatory Phase. The preparation of an initial performance specification was already undertaken at the start of the FP6-funded EISCAT_3D Design Study. This needs to be revisited and updated in the light of the Design Study findings, and kept under continuous review as the Preparatory Phase progresses. During this phase of the project, the trade-off between the desired system performance and the level of resources likely to be available to implement EISCAT_3D will become evident. In such a situation, a good definition of acceptable system performance will be essential in making decisions about what kind of system is actually likely to be implemented.

In addition to the specification of hardware performance, EISCAT_3D will also incorporate a range of new measurement principles made possible not only by the innovative phased array design, but also by the innovative types of signal processing, coding, data handling and data analysis which will be used on the new hardware. In order to optimise the benefit which the future users of EISCAT_3D can derive from these new possibilities, a handbook of measurement principles will be prepared, in order to outline the optimum strategies for the use of the new facility. This handbook will be used as the template framing the specification of the system software being developed in WP10, WP11, WP12 and WP13 and, in that sense, will complement the earlier specification which focused on hardware performance.

The main aims of this activity are:

  • Revisit the performance specification produced in the FP6 Design Study stage to take account of the Design Study findings and incorporate any ideas which have emerged since the end of the Design Study.
  • Produce a handbook of measurement principles, setting out how the system performance can be optimised by the application of innovative concepts in signal processing, coding, data handling and data analysis, which will be used thereafter as a framework for software and experiment development in EISCAT_3D.
  • Update and maintain the performance specification so that it provides a continuing resource for all of the technical work packages to determine details of acceptable system performance and hence define their required outputs.

The output of this package will be a set of performance specifications, covering all elements of the proposed system and capable of delivering the science goals defined in WP3. In particular, it will be ensured that these Work Packages provide input to WP14 on issues of reliability and quality control for components which are required to operate in large volumes.

Completing an initial version of the Project Specification Document will be the first task for the Technical Advisory Committee. The Performance Specification Document will be critical to some nationally-funded activities, and the leaders of these packages will be included in this consultation.

Deliverable 6.1: Initial Performance Specification Document

The Performance Specification Document describes the kind of system that is wanted from the EISCAT_3D project. It consists of three documents:

Concept Document
A document detailing a strategic overview of the EISCAT_3D instrument concept, design, planned performance characteristics, and capabilities.
System Design Document
A detailed design philosophy dpcument that facilitates communication between scientists, engineers and other team members. It defines the level at whish system choices and trade-offs can be made.
Engineering Specification Document
A document containing the specification of engineering requirements for the
EISCAT_3D system.

In this initial version of the PSD only the first document is finished - the other two are only skeletons at this stage. The documents in their present form are compiled into one pdf-file to form Deliverable 6.1.

The PSD will continuously be updated throughout the project.

Deliverable 6.2: Initial version of the handbook of measurement principles

A handbook of measurement principles for incoherent scatter radar systems is produced as part of the EISCAT_3D Preparatory Phase project. This handbook is setting out how the system performance can be optimised by the application of innovative concepts in signal processing, coding, data handling and data analysis. The plan is that this handbook will be used as a framework for software and experiment development in the future EISCAT_3D system.

The initial version of the handbook has been prepared in order to deal with the most important pieces of information which were missing or partly incompletely treated in the first design study of the EISCAT_3D radar. It forms Deliverable 6.2.

The handbook will be expanded and iterated as the study continues throughout the project.

Deliverable 6.3: First version of an integrated performance specification

The integration of the initial Performance Specification document with the first version of the updated Science Case and the first version of the Handbook of Measurement Principles is a comprehensive Performance Specification covering the hardware and software elements of the new system, and showing how the science goals can be addressed:

The EISCAT_3D facilities will comprise one core site and four distant sites equipped with antenna arrays, supporting instruments, platforms for movable equipment and high data rate internet connections. Two pairs of distant sites with primary receiving capabilities will be located at different baseline distances within roughly 90 km ≤ d ≤ 280 km from the core site. The most favorable geometry for tri-static observation, for the four remote sites, is along two baselines, running orthogonally to each other from the central site. The core site with full transmitting and receiving capability will be located within roughly 100 km of a point at 69°N 20.5°E.

The mono-static core array consists of antenna elements having transmitting and receiving capability. Distributed receivers located added at close distance at the core site allow for testing bi-static measurements. This set-up allows modular construction as well as first scientifically exploitable results at an early stage.

The core site will comprise:

  • Phased-array of order of 10000 elements including both Tx and Rx capabilities
  • RF signal generation equipment and RF power amplifiers
  • Transmit/receive switching system
  • Beam-steering systems for transmission and reception
  • Incoherent scatter receiver subsystem
  • Outlier elements
  • Receive-only phased-array for narrow receiving beams and in-beam interferometry
  • Beam formers
  • Time and frequency synchronisation equipment
  • Digital signal processing equipment
  • Built-in test equipment

The total size of the central site will exceed 1 km, given that the dense inner core of antennas will be accompanied by a sparsely distributed array of outlying antennas.

The remote sites will comprise:

  • Phased-array antennas with associated receivers
  • Beam-formers
  • Time and frequency synchronisation equipment (performance clock and clock distribution systems)
  • Digital signal processing equipment
  • Built-in test equipment

The approximate size of a remote site will be around 300 m squared.

The transmitter parameters are:

Centre frequency
233 MHz (or < 233 MHz if need to be shifted)
Peak output power
10 MW
Average Power
2.5 MW
Instantaneous –3 dB power bandwidth
5 MHz
Pulse length
0.5–3000 microseconds or continuous
Pulse repetition frequency
0–3000 Hz (also irregular pulse sequences being possible)

The receiver parameters are:

Centre frequency
233 MHz (or centered around receiver frequency)
Instantaneous bandwidth
+/- 15 MHz at core site, preferably also at other sites at least +/- 5 MHz
Overall noise temperature
<50 K referenced
Cable length
not much longer than 5m
Spurious-free dynamic range
>70 dB

Deliverable 6.4: Annual status report on the Performance Specification activity

The integrated performance specification is kept under continuous review with regular iterations to incorporate developments in the other Work Packages. The current version of the document is posted annually as a deliverable of Work Package 6.

In October 2012, the project summarised the current status of the Performance Specification in two tables describing the base-­line design and illustrating the performance of the baseline configuration.

The EISCAT_3D instrument will consist of 5 phased-array antenna fields for transmission (Tx) and reception (Rx) of 233 MHz radio waves. Total transmitted power at the core site will be 10 MW and at least one remote site will have transmission capability of about 1 MW. Digital control of the transmission and low-level digitization of the received signal will allow for instantaneous beam-swinging, and multiple simultaneous transmit and receive beams, without motion of mechanical structures. The sites will be equipped with smaller outlying antenna arrays that will facilitate aperture synthesis imaging to acquire sub-beam transverse spatial resolution. This will give the EISCAT_3D radar unmatched power agility and flexibility. The baseline design suggests a core site that will be located close to the intersection of the Swedish, Norwegian and Finnish borders and four receiving sites located within approximately 50 to 250 km from the core.

The EISCAT_3D concept permits continuous pre-scheduled operations and fast and automatic switching of observation modes. It offers advanced capabilities to study atmospheric phenomena on scales of hundreds of kilometers to hundreds of meters. Atmospheric monitoring at 70-1200 km altitude is only limited by power consumption and data storage.

To quantify the improvements in performance it is illuminating to compare the integration time required to obtain plasma parameter estimates with the same accuracy with the current UHF and the new EISCAT_3D systems. The larger total transmitter power is required for most of the new observation modes, since the new system has many new features that the current EISCAT instrument does not have. These measurement modes offer major advantages of EISCAT_3D also compared to other systems.

The base-line design, like the Performance Specification, will be updated following the progress of Work Package 6 as well as of other workpackages and based on the requirements imposed by the schedule for construction and funding.

Deliverable 6.5: Annual status report on the performance specification activity

The integrated performance specification is kept under continuous review with regular iterations to incorporate developments in the other Work Packages. The current version of the document is posted annually as a deliverable of Work Package 6.

The EISCAT_3D facilities will comprise one transmit/receive core site and four distant, primarily receive sites equipped with antenna arrays, supporting instruments, platforms for movable equipment and high data-rate Internet connections. The receive sites will be arranged at a pair of closer locations to the core to provide high resolution E-region vector drift measurements and another pair of locations spaced further from the core for F-region vector coverage over a larger region. The two pairs of receive sites with will be located at baseline distances within roughly 90 km ≤ d ≤ 280 km of the core site. The core site with full transmitting and receiving capabilities will be located within roughly 100 km of a point at 69 degrees North and 20.5 degrees East, well situated for auroral zone research.

The mono-static core array will consist of antenna elements having transmitting and receiving capabilities as well as relatively closely located antennas to support aperture synthesis imaging for probing within the transmitted beam. Each element will have full polarization control on transmit and full polarization measurements on receive. The polarization measurement capability will also be available at all receive sites. Synchronization between the subsystems will be handled via a combination of short latency internet connections, local GPS-based real-time clocks, stable clock oscillators at each site, and a high-accuracy clock distribution system at each site (most likely based on an extension of the IEEE-1588 protocol). Each site will also contain sufficient processing capacity for digital beam forming, local storage of intermediate measurement products, and processing capacity for near real-time plasma parameter extraction.

The entire system will be configured for unattended remote operations, though there may be the need for a very small staff, especially at the core, for safety reasons. The sites will, however, also have limited infrastructure to support scientific and technical visitors for research campaigns.

The core site will comprise:

  • Phased-array, polarization-flexible antenna with on the order of 10,000 elements (actual number of antenna elements based on optimization of system costs)
  • Distributed RF signal generation exciters, two per antenna element, amplitude and phase capable
  • Distributed RF power amplifiers, 2×500 W per antenna, amplitude and phase modulation capable
  • Distributed transmit/receive switching
  • Distributed low noise amplifiers, total added noise goal is <50 K
  • Receive-only outlier elements for narrow receiving beams and in-beam interferometry
  • Beam forming system
  • Time and frequency synchronization equipment
  • Digital signal processing equipment (in addition to beam forming)
  • Built-in test and monitoring equipment
  • System calibration equipment
  • Power control and distribution equipment

The total size of the central site will exceed 1 km, given that the dense inner core of antennas will be accompanied by a sparsely distributed array of outlying antennas. The dense inner core will require approximately 70 m × 70 m of space, with an additional buffer for safety.

The remote sites will comprise:

  • Phased-array, polarization-flexible antenna with on the order of 10,000 elements (actual number of antenna elements based on optimization of system costs)
  • Distributed low noise amplifiers, total added noise goal is <50 K
  • Beam forming system
  • Time and frequency synchronization equipment
  • Digital signal processing equipment (in addition to beam forming)
  • Built-in test and monitoring equipment
  • System calibration equipment
  • Power control and distribution equipment

The transmitter parameters are:

  • Centre frequency near 233 MHz
  • Peak output power: 1000 W per antenna element, totaling approximately 10 MW
  • Instantaneous: 3 dB power bandwidth >5 MHz
  • Pulse length: 0.5–3000 microseconds
  • Duty cycle: 0-25%
  • Interpulse period: > 100 microseconds (fully flexible pulse sequences)
  • Capability to transmit arbitrary phases and amplitudes
  • Stable gain and delays over the specified temperature range

The receiver parameters are:

  • Centre frequency 233 MHz (or centered around transmitter frequency)
  • Instantaneous bandwidth: +/- 15 MHz at core site, preferably also at other sites at least +/- 5 MHz
  • Overall added noise temperature (above sky noise): <50 K referenced
  • Spurious-free dynamic range: >70 dB

Computational system should be able to extract data and calculate at least 100 beams simultaneously.

The system parameters will be selected such that, over the multi-static field-of-view, the resolution along the transmitted beam direction(s) can be made better than 100 m at any altitude and the horizontal (transverse) –3 dB resolution at 100 km altitude is better than 100 m. The beam generated by the central core transmit/receive antenna array will be steerable out to a maximum zenith angle of the order of 40 degree (60 degree with lower performance) in all azimuth directions. The beam from the central core antenna array will be steerable into any new pointing direction on timescale better than 1 microsecond through coordinated switching of the exciters.

Environmental considerations, maintenance costs as well as possible malfunction during ice and snow coverage need to be considered for antenna design. Changes in performance due to ice and snow coverage need to be within a range that can be compensated by adjusting the measurement parameters. Ideally the antenna performance does not require a solid ground plane. The configuration shall be as insensitive as possible to snow conditions, particularly with respect to snow accumulation.

The sites shall be equipped with facilities for Optical Cameras, Ionosondes and Data Storage. Sites should be prepared over a range larger than what is needed for initial instrumentation in order to have the space for further instruments and in order for further construction works not disturbing measurements. Site infrastructure needs to account for shielded mitigation of RF interference, especially at the core but also at the remote locations.

Optical Cameras
Support for basic optical instrumentation at the core and selected distant sites will allow the observation of auroral or airglow emissions and Doppler shifts due to mesospheric and thermospheric neutral winds at the time and location of the radar observations. This can be facilitated by installing CCD equipped standard cameras with filter change capacity near the core site and at several distant sites, as well as a Fabry Perot imaging spectrometer at the core. Facilities for these cameras need to be available close enough to minimize and mitigate parallax issues.
Ionosondes
Digital ionosondes at all sites will support the radar measurements and broaden the parameters obtained from continuous coverage.
Data Storage
Data storage and communication systems shall be located at, or close to, each site.

Deliverable 6.6: Final version of the performance specification document

The integrated performance specification has throughout the EISCAT_3D Preparatory Phase project been kept under continuous review with regular iterations to incorporate developments in the other Work Packages. Deliverable 6.6 is the final version of the document.

Deliverable 6.7: Handbook of measurement principles

The purpose of the "Handbook of measurement principles" is to define the guidelines for the EISCAT_3D radar development project. Incoherent scatter radar experiment design and data analysis is in the process of being transformed from a collection of engineering recipes to an exact mathematical problem in experiment comparison and statistical inversion theories. Also, the development of the solid-state UHF power transmitter technology has lead to a replacement of high-power transmitters and large disc antennas by arrays of several thousands or tens of thousands of simple, relatively low-power transmitters and receivers with phase control for beam-forming in both directions.

The goal with this handbook is to show how the new mathematical principles of radar experiment design and data analysis can be used to design a modern radar representing the true state-of-the-art in both theoretical developments in radar experiment design and modern electronics. The phased-array principle is also included as a new chapter in rigorous radar experiment design, so that the large antenna arrays can be optimised to provide the best possible performance with the least possible cost.

This version of the handbook can be considered the final version.

Milestone 6.1: Initial version of the Performance Specification Document ready

The Performance Specification Document describes what kind of system is wanted from the EISCAT_3D project.

The initial version of the Performance Specification Document has been prepared.

This Milestone was reached in July 2011.

Milestone 6.2: Initial version of the handbook of measurement principles ready

The handbook of measurement principles describes the concepts underpinning the EISCAT_3D hardware and software.

The initial version of the handbook of measurement principles has been prepared.

This Milestone was reached in September 2011.

Milestone 6.3: Integrated performance specification ready

The integration of the initial Performance Specification document with the first version of the updated Science Case and the first version of the Handbook of Measurement Principles is a comprehensive Performance Specification covering the hardware and software elements of the new system, and showing how the science goals can be addressed.

The delivery of the first version of this integrated Performance Specification is Milestone 6.3. This document was produced in April 2012, but was not accepted by the EISCAT_3D Executive Board until November 2013. Thus Milestone 6.3 was reached in November 2013.

Milestone 6.4: Annual review of the evolving performance specification

The integrated performance specification is kept under continuous review with regular iterations to incorporate developments in the other Work Packages. The current version of the document is posted annually as a deliverable of Work Package 6.

The delivery of the second version of the integrated Performance Specification is Milestone 6.4. This document was produced in October 2012, but was not accepted by the EISCAT_3D Executive Board until November 2013. Thus Milestone 6.4 was reached in November 2013.

Milestone 6.5: Annual review of the evolving performance specification

The integrated performance specification is kept under continuous review with regular iterations to incorporate developments in the other Work Packages. The current version of the document is posted annually as a deliverable of Work Package 6.

The delivery of the third version of the integrated Performance Specification is Milestone 6.5. This Milestone was reached in November 2013.

Milestone 6.6: Final Performance specification document published as a template for the implementation phase

The integrated performance specification was under continuous review during the EISCAT_3D Preparatory Phase.

The publishing of the final version of the Performance Specification Document (Deliverable 6.6) constitutes Milestone 6.6. This Milestone was reached in September 2014.

WP7: Digital signal processing

In this Work Package, the techniques of signal processing using software-defined radio (SDR) receiver systems will be developed to be suitable for parallel processing of signals from a phased array radar. The development will initially be done via laboratory set-ups of hardware and software, followed by a field trial of the developed units, which will establish their reliability and performance.

While the FP6 Design Study produced detailed designs for many parts of the new radar, the system was sufficiently far from construction, and technology advancing so rapidly in many areas, that although the required performance could already be delivered by existing hardware, more capable subsystems were certain to be available before system construction. It was thus appropriate to delay a final choice until the Preparatory Phase, in order to take full advantage of improvements in cost and performance.

The FP6 Design Study suggested a beam-forming and signal processing solution based throughout on the use of custom-built Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) hardware. This can, however be significantly simplified by combining FPGA based sampling and first stages of processing with the use of commercial SDR and off-the-shelf computing in the later stages of processing. Such system set-up would be directly compatible with the multi-purpose codes in WP11 as well as with many other parts of processing, be easier to implement in an operations environment. This approach potentially offers great promise in terms of their performance and flexibility but needs further evaluation before a decision can be made.

Because of the integral connection between hardware and software, this Work Package will be very closely coordinated with WP11 (software theory and implementation). It will also be closely coordinated with the science requirements package (WP3), receiving user requirements from the science community and advising the science users on the constraints imposed by the selected signal processing solution.

This Work Package contains the following activities:

  • Development of FPGA code for the sampler systems.
  • Acquisition of sampling hardware with which to perform the testing.
  • Integration of the sampling hardware with the analog front end hardware.
  • Field-testing and demonstration of the signal processing and beam-forming units.
  • Design of a clock synchronisation system to be used in the EISCAT_3D system.

Deliverable 7.1: Report on proposed implementation of digital signal processing

Deliverable 7.1 is a report detailing the techniques of signal processing using a software-defined radio receiver system that is suitable for parallel processing of signals from a phased array radar. The various methods for implementation of the system are assessed: cluster computer approach, the so-called LOFAR method and a futuristic approach, based on the experience gleaned from existing systems and our extrapolation of existing technologies

The lead beneficiary of this Work Package has changed compared to the original plan. This meant that there were some delays in parts of this Work Package, and particularly in the production of this Deliverable.

Deliverable 7.2: Report on the results from the field testing exercise and proof of concept

As part of Work Package 7, a number of field demonstration systems were implemented to test signal processing concepts, implementation methods and technology deployments. The three principle systems are:

  • KAIRA (Kilpisjärvi Atmospheric Imaging Receiver Array)
    • the Kiruna Demonstrator Array (and, specifically, the digital beamforming component)
    • the Kilpisjärvi Test System

    This Deliverable reports the results from these field tests.

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PDF icon Field testing and proof of concept9.33 MB

Deliverable 7.3: Prototype signal processing unit

This Deliverable is a collation of material indicating the technological readiness of the signal processing systems being proposed and evaluated for EISCAT development for the forthcoming EISCAT 3D project. The head part of this report serves as an introduction for the collected annexes, which contain the component reports.

Deliverable 7.4: Final report summarising the work done in WP7

EISCAT 3D will use the incoherent scatter technique to study the atmosphere in the Fenno-Scandinavian Arctic and to investigate how the Earth's atmosphere is coupled to space. Modern design methodologies advocate a phased array approach, which in turn puts heavy demands on signal processing techniques and technologies.

In this Work Package, the techniques of signal processing using software-defined radio (SDR) receiver systems were developed as a suitable method for parallel processing of signals from a phased array radar. The development was initially done via laboratory set-ups of hardware and software, followed by a field trial of the developed units, which established their reliability and performance.

This report is part of that project and pertains to the Preparatory Phase, which is a transitory phase of the project between the formal design study and implementation/construction. In it, we summarise the work
done on the signal processing work package.

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PDF icon Final report3.16 MB

Milestone 7.1: Hardware acquired for field-testing

Work Package 7 is devoted to signal processing issues for the EISCAT_3D project. In order to be able to perform field-testing of the signal processing techniques using Software-Defined Radio (SDR) receiver systems, a selection of off-the-shelf hardware is acquired.

The acquired field test hardware consists of 38 dual-channel samplers and various kinds of front-ends, and the received hardware constitutes Milestone 7.1.

This Milestone was reached in January 2012.

Milestone 7.2: Completion of preliminary plans for the sampling hardware

Work Package 7 is looking at signal processing issues for the EISCAT_3D project. Test hardware was acquired, which constituted Milestone 7.1 of the EISCAT_3D Preparatory Phase project. The completion of the initial development of the firmware for the testing hardware is Milestone 7.2.

This Milestone was reached in April 2012.

Milestone 7.3: Hardware ready for field-testing

Work Package 7 is looking at signal processing issues for the EISCAT_3D project. Field testing is performed using the acquired hardware (Milestone 7.1) and the firmware developed for the purpose (Milestone 7.2). Milestone 7.3 is reached when the hardware is ready for this field testing.

The field tests are planned in two different ways:

  1. Using the KAIRA HBA antenna fields, useful as such to demonstrate reception of beam formed radar signals with the Tromsø VHF transmitter.
  2. With the EISCAT_3D test array in Kiruna from the FP6 Design Study.

The first type of tests were only possible when the KAIRA system in Kilpisjärvi was ready. This constitutes Milestone 7.3, and it was reached in April 2012.

Milestone 7.4: Completion of field-testing exercise

The field-testing was carried out on the Kiruna Demonstrator Array at the Kiruna EISCAT site in June 2014, as detailed in Deliverable 7.2. The completion of this work constitutes Milestone 7.4.

Milestone 7.5: Prototype signal processing unit ready

The prototype signal processing unit was completed in spring 2014 and tested as part of the Kilpisjärvi Test System in June 2014 as detailed in Deliverable 7.2 and Deliverable 7.4.

This Milestone was thus reached in June 2014.

WP8: Antenna, front end and time synchronisation

The antennas, array layout, receiver front end, and calibration system all play important roles in setting the achievable system performance. The objective of this Work Package is to produce designs of these hardware elements which will be suitable for industrial consideration, and to identify the people who are capable of constructing them.

The results of the earlier work in this area will be revisited, and the results of the FP6 Design Study will either be re-confirmed or updated by taking into account new findings in available hardware, frequency allocation, and user requirements. The outcome of the work package will be devices, subsystems, and systems which fulfil the target performance specifications and are mass-producible.

The activities that will be performed in this Work Package are:

  • Specification of the physical and electrical design of the individual antenna elements.
  • Identification of possible configurations of the antenna array with respect to the hardware and electromagnetic properties. (The optimisation of the array design for Aperture Synthesis Imaging Radar purposes is determined in WP10).
  • Design of the electrical and mechanical front end.
  • Investigation of the timing and antenna calibrations.

Deliverable 8.1: Report on the evaluation of possible synchronisation/calibration solutions

In the full EISCAT_3D system it is critical that the antenna pattern and phase delay of each element is accurately known at all times.

Deliverable 8.1 presents the results of the evaluation of the synchronization system proposed for EISCAT_3D developed and evaluated by National Instruments, and a number of different calibration options applicable to daily operation of the EISCAT_3D system evaluated by Luleå University of Technology.

The good initial synchronization of the transmitters and receivers used in EISCAT_3D will allow the system to be operated without applying additional calibration. However, non-negligible performance improvements are expected to be achievable by calibrating for not only residual timing errors in the synchronization system, but also for cable delay variations, temperature dependent phase delay of the LNAs, as well as the antenna pattern of individual antennas and their positions. The investigated calibration methods are: celestial radio sources, radar reflections from objects in Earth orbit, local calibration signal injection, global cable-based calibration signal distribution and local calibration towers.

It appears entirely feasible to achieve excellent calibration accuracy using any of the methods presented in this report, but that a combination is required to calibrate both the whole bandwidth of the receiver arrays and the transmitter array. Radar reflections from objects in earth orbit is not only the only method identified so far that can be used to measure full transmitter antenna pattern (including far field phase), but also more efficient than using celestial sources for receiver calibration, but only applicable in the frequency band we are transmitting. Unless accurate antenna models can be used to predict the receiver radiation pattern over the whole bandwidth based on only transmission band measurements, we will also need to perform measurements using celestial radio sources as a complement for the rest of the bandwidth. We do not wish to rule out using local (without the signal distribution network) signal injection as a diagnostic tool for online (receiver antenna) return loss and coupling measurements, but monitoring changes in receiver antenna radiation pattern based on the previous two methods could be sufficient. Similarly, building a limited number of masts in some proximity to the transmitter for probing the field from the transmitting antennas could be useful for measuring variations in phase delay and perhaps a limited number of parameters of a antenna model on shorter time-scales than reflections from objects in orbit around Earth will allow.

Deliverable 8.2: Report on the completed design and testing of the antenna elements and the antenna array

Task 8.1 of the EISCAT_3D Preparatory Phase project is considering the design and evaluation of antenna elements.

The current version of the performance specification calls for a dual-polarisation antenna that, in an array, shall support transmission over a 5 MHz bandwidth, reception over 30 MHz and steering angles of up to 60 degrees from zenith. The wide steering angle, the modest bandwidth requirements, in combination with requirements on high reliability and mechanical robustness make dipole-based antenna elements attractive for this application. The use of straight or bent dipoles is well established in antenna arrays, examples include the PAVE PAWS and AMISR systems.

This report describes the design method, the resulting antenna and simulation results for this antenna and a reduced array implementation that will be used for verifying the accuracy of the simulated array performance.

EISCAT_3D antenna element

The presented antenna fulfills the requirements on the antenna and the antenna array for the EISCAT_3D system. Using the developed simulation automation tools different trade-offs between parameters can easily be found.

Deliverable 8.3: First prototype of the antenna ready

Parts of the activities in Work Package 8 of the EISCAT_3D Preparatory Phase project involves design of the antenna elements to be used in the full EISCAT_3D system. Deliverable 8.3 is a report presenting the design of, and measurements on, the first antenna prototype developed in WP8 for the EISCAT_3D system. The work was performed by Gelab AB together with Luleå University of Technology.

EISCAT_3D antenna prototype

Deliverable 8.3 is a report presenting the design of, and measurements on, the first antenna prototype developed in WP8 for the EISCAT_3D system. The work has been performed by Gelab AB together with Luleå University of Technology. The report covers:

  • The construction of an electric full-scale model of the “Gunnar Isaksson Antenna no:1”
  • Measurements of S-parameters (S11 and S22, Return loss) and radiation pattern of the above constructed full scale model.

Deliverable 8.4: Report on the optimized front-end, including electrical, calibration, mechanical and manufacturing

As part of Work Package 8 of the EISCAT_3D Preparatory Phase project a low noise amplifier for the proposed antenna array has been being developed at Luleå University of Technology. The system is expected to operate at approximately 235 MHz with a transmission bandwidth of 5 MHz and a reception bandwidth of 30 MHz. As the sky noise temperature at this frequency range is in the order of 140 K, the aim is for an LNA noise temperature in the order of 30 K. In order to minimise transfer function variations the return loss of the amplifiers should be high (preferably larger than 20 dB).

EISCAT_3D low noise amplifier

An LNA subsystem suitable for the EISCAT_3D system was designed and verified, with performance well in line with requirements. As a part of this work a number of low-noise transistors have been characterised for VHF operation and device variation statistics for the most promising device has also been collected.

Deliverable 8.5: Technical report on all WP8 activities

This report presents the activities in, and the results from, Work Package (WP) 8 of the EISCAT_3D Preparatory Phase project. This report is written to be read as a stand alone document. Thus, although major parts of activities as well as results have previously been presented in earlier deliverables, this report presents, and in some cases, summarizes them. For more in depth information, references are given to other documents.

This report also covers recent results from the final months of WP8 activities. These recent results are presented in detail, as they are not reported elsewhere.

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PDF icon Report on all WP8 activities1.35 MB

Milestone 8.1: Initial design of the individual antenna elements completed

One of the tasks in Work Package 8 of the EISCAT_3D Preparatory Phase project is to specify the physical and electrical design of the individual antenna elements for the system.

The aspects discussed in the first report on these activities are:

  • Measurement system capable of measuring the position and time delay of the individual antenna elements.
  • The initial design and evaluation of the individual antenna elements.

Based on the findings in this report the following recommendations are made:

  • No local measurement system should be built. This option should instead be kept in mind for a future upgrade of the system.
  • A folded dipole with a reflector element is the recommended antenna element for the array.

It should be noted that this conclusion is based on having a required bandwidth of 30 MHz; other options must be re-evaluated if this changes. In addition the design presented is an initial design which may change significantly following recommendations from antenna manufacturers.

Further work suggests that the antenna array should be laid out in a triangular grid.

These initial conclusions regarding the design of the antenna elements constitutes Milestone 8.1.

This Milestone was reached in December 2011.

The initial design of the antenna element was then completed in September 2012. The design is published in a technical report, “Design of antenna elements for EISCAT_3D's phased arrays”, LTU, ISBN 978-91-7439-478-8. This report is available for download from Luleå University of Technology.

Milestone 8.2: Initial specification of the antenna elements and antenna array configuration completed

Tasks 8.1 and 8.2 of the EISCAT_3D Preparatory Phase Project concerns specification of the antenna elements and the antenna array configuration. These specifications are collected in a brief report.

The completion of the initial specification of the antenna elements and antenna array configuration is Milestone 8.2.

This Milestone was reached in May 2012.

Milestone 8.3: Performance validation completed for the first front-end prototype

Task 8.3 in the EISCAT_3D Preparatory Phase deals with the electric and mechanical front end design.

The performance of the front end prototypes has been evaluated. Complete data for the front end is found in Deliverable 8.4, “Report on the optimized front-end, including electrical, calibration, mechanical and manufacturing”.

This Milestone was reached in September 2013, when the performance of the first front end prototype was evaluated.

Milestone 8.4: The evaluation of possible synchronisation/calibration solutions finished and decided upon

The synchronization system proposed for EISCAT_3D, and a number of different calibration options applicable to daily operation of the EISCAT_3D system has been evaluated. The conclusions are available as Deliverable 8.1. This is Milestone 8.4 of the project.

This Milestone was reached in October 2012.

Milestone 8.5: Prototype antenna manufactured

The first prototype antenna has been manufactured. The full report on measurements on the antenna is found in Deliverable 8.3, “First prototype of the antenna that will be used in the EISCAT_3D system”.

This Milestone was reached in June 2014.

WP9: Transmitter development

In this Work Package, important parts of the EISCAT_3D radar transmitter subsystem will be designed and evaluated. These particular areas of the transmitter design were planned to be addressed already during the FP6 Design Study but was unfortunately left unfinished due to lack of manpower and time.

This Work Package will contain the following activities:

  • Design, prototyping and testing of the system for the generation and modulation of the low-level RF drive signals.
  • Prototyping and testing of the beam-forming of the transmitted beam.
  • Testing of the design of the transmit-receive (T/R) switching and receiver protection, particularly when operating with the power amplifier system that was developed in the FP6 Design Study.
  • Design and test specification of power amplifier stage for the transmitter, with particular considerations also to power efficiency.

The main work in this Work Package will be performed by the Swedish Institute of Space Physics, while interacting with EISCAT Scientific Association and Luleå Technical University.

Deliverable 9.1: Report on the design of the digital exciter

Deliverable 9.1 of the FP7-supported EISCAT_3D Preparatory Phase project is a report describing the design, construction and verification of a prototype transmitter exciter for the EISCAT_3D phased-array research radar system.

The two prototype versions of the exciter presented here are designed around the Analog Devices AD9957 quadrature upconverter (QDUC) evaluation board, EVAL-AD9957. The second (triple-channel) version can implement the required transmitter arbitrary modulation, spectrum masking and time-domain beam steering capabilities up to baseband data rates of at least 60 Msamples/second, while at the same time maintaining phase noise and spurious emission levels below the EISCAT_3D performance specification limits. It is recommended as a suitable starting point for the design of a mass-produced, multi-channel arbitrary-waveform exciter for the EISCAT_3D radar.

Report on the design of the digital exciter

Shown above are the most important subsystems of the prototype single-channel AD9957-based exciter. The PROM is programmed with eight equal-magnitude I/Q pairs, positioned at (n · π/4, n = 0,…,7) on the unit circle; this data set can be used to implement constant-amplitude eight-phase coding at many existing ISR systems.

Deliverable 9.2: Technical report on the T/R switch design

Task 9.3 of the EISCAT_3D Preparatory Phase is concerned with the verification and evaluation of the transmitter/receiver switch design.

Deliverable 9.2 is a report covering the design and testing of a T/R switch realised on microstripline technology. The tested switch mainly meets the deign goals for use in the EISCAT_3D system. As designed, the prototype T/R switch meets the power handling and switching time design targets. It also approaches the isolation and loss targets to within acceptable tolerances, considering the intended application:

  • At 350 W incident power, only -20 dBm leaks through to the receiver; this is about 10 dB less than the level that low noise HEMTs can withstand indefinitely without degradation
  • With a sky temperature exceeding 200 K and a receiver noise temperature of more than 35 K, an extra 15 K noise temperature added by the T/R switch (36 K instead of 21 K) translates to a signal-noise ratio loss of less than 6 %

Addendum: When this Deliverable was originally reported, the high power tests of the T/R switches had failed since the used PIN-diodes did not withstand the required power. The design criteria parameters presented in the Deliverable confirmed that the operating conditions for the PIN-diodes with some margin were within those presented in the data sheets issued by the manufacturer (MA/Com). Contact with MA/Com was established, and another PIN-diode version was put into the case type that fitted our design (the new version was originally not available in the “micro strip” case we had selected). The conclusion after the 1000 hours continuous test is that the design works according to the design specifications and targets as given in the baseline documents.

Deliverable 9.3: Report containing the conclusions from the beam-steering tests

As part of the Work Package 9 activities in EISCAT_3D Preparatory Phase, on-the-air tests of the IRF-developed triple channel arbitrary-waveform exciter prototype were carried out at the Jicamarca Radio Observatory (JRO) in Peru from March 19, 2012 to March 24, 2012 inclusive. The IRF staff involved were Dr. Gudmund Wannberg, IRF-K (now ℅ Wannberg Radarkonsult AB) and Mr. Walter Puccio, IRF-U.

The purpose of these tests was threefold:

  1. to verify that the IRF-developed exciter prototype could successfully drive a high-power incoherent-scatter radar at its output frequency without running into RF feedback problems
  2. to verify the ability of the exciter to generate phase-stable
    carrier signals modulated by completely arbitrary waveforms
  3. to verify the beam-steering capabilities of the triple-channel prototype at least in principle through on-the-air tests.

Deliverable 9.3 is a report focusing on the beam-steering tests.

The conclusions from the tests are that technically these tests at JRO must be characterized as a total success:

  • the ability of an AD9957-based exciter to drive a 2 MW, 50-MHz transmitter at the output frequency without developing feedback problems has been demonstrated
  • using long Chu codes, which cycle the real and imaginary halves of the baseband data word through their entire amplitude ranges, the arbitrary-waveform capability of the AD9957 is verified at baseband rates up to 15 Mwords (complex) per second
  • the FP6 Design Study proposal for EISCAT_3D transmit beam-steering, i.e. to control individual array elements by numerically phase-shifting independent exciters, is demonstrated and validated in principle.
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PDF icon AD9957 exciter performance tests at JRO416.14 KB

Deliverable 9.4: Report with design specification of power amplifiers

Note: This Deliverable was not part of the original Work Plan.

One transmitter design for EISCAT_3D was tested during the FP6 Design Study. It was found that this design needed some improvements, primarily for energy efficiency but also to enable industrial production of the transmitter units. Hence, Task 9.4 of the EISCAT_3D Preparatory Phase involves specifying the design of the power amplifier to be used in the EISCAT_3D radar system. Deliverable 9.4 includes these design specifications.

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PDF icon Power amplifier design specification170.24 KB

Milestone 9.1: First exciter prototype in operation

As part of this Work Package, a single-channel exciter comprising AD9957 evaluation board, a broadband MMIC RF amplifier and a command interface has been designed and prototyped. The interface contains a baseband data PROM, programmed with a set of I/Q data defining eight points on the periphery of the unit circle ([0,...,7]×45°) which can be selected at will by external command. The prototype has been debugged and verified by using three bits from the EISCAT Radar Controller to control the PROM, feeding the resulting analog output signal at ≈108 MHz into the first i.f. of the Kiruna EISCAT UHF receiver and sampling and displaying the signal using a special purpose experiment running under EROS.

Report on the design of the digital exciter

The output signal is phase-stable to better than one part in 10¹¹ over 5 seconds; the phase progression when stepping through the eight possible phases is repeatable to within the resolution of the measurement system over the same time period. The first operation of this prototype exciter constitutes Milestone 9.1.

This Milestone was reached in May 2011.

Milestone 9.2: Revision of the exciter design finalised

A fully digital exciter design based on an off-the-shelf digital up-converter chip is developed as part of this Work Package. An initial prototype was produced and in operation (Milestone 9.1) in May 2011. The second prototype is a triple channel exciter, comprising three synchronised AD9957 QDUCs running off a common clock and being modulated by individually preprocessed baseband data streams from an FPGA controller. The revision of the design of the prototype exciter is Milestone 9.2.

This Milestone was reached in September 2011.

Milestone 9.3: Two additional exciter units, using the revised design delivered

In the original Work Plan for Work Package 9 of the EISCAT_3D Preparatory Phase, an exciter design would be tested by connecting three exciter units to a stable timing system and a control computer. However, it was found to be more convenient to use one exciter unit with three channels instead. Details of the exciter can be found in Deliverable 9.1.

The triple-channel exciter unit comprises Milestone 9.3. This Milestone was reached in January 2012.

Milestone 9.4: First operation of beam-steering capabilities demonstrated

As part of the EISCAT_3D Work Package 9, tests of the IRF-developed triple channel arbitrary-waveform exciter prototype were carried out at the Jicamarca Radio Observatory (JRO) in Peru from March 19, 2012 to March 24, 2012. One of the purposes of these tests was to verify the beam-steering capabilities of the triple-channel prototype.

The techniques and configurations used at JRO deviate in several respects from the Work Plan of Task 9.2 in the EISCAT_3D Preparatory Phase. Instead of the planned use of time-delay-based beam-steering and beam tapering with three exciter units, direct phase steering with two exciter channels and no amplitude tapering was utilised. These deviations were due to the setup of the JRO system.

The proposed beam-steering, to control individual array elements by numerically phase-shifting independent exciters, was demonstrated and validated.

The successful demonstration of the beam-steering capabilities corresponds to Milestone 9.4 of the EISCAT_3D Preparatory Phase. This Milestone was reached in March 2012.

Milestone 9.5: Evaluation of T/R switch prototypes completed

Task 9.3 of the EISCAT_3D Preparatory Phase is concerned with verification and evaluation of the transmitter/receiver switch design.

This T/R-switch was realised on microstripline technology, which simplifies the integration in a modular system with a combined Transmit/Receive module.

T/R switch prototype

As designed, the prototype T/R switch meets the power handling and switching time design targets. It also approaches the isolation and loss targets to within acceptable tolerances, considering the
intended application:

  • At 350 W incident power, only -20 dBm leaks through to the receiver; this is about 10 dB less than the level that low noise HEMTs can withstand indefinitely without degradation.
  • With a sky temperature exceeding 200 K and a receiver noise temperature of > 35 K, an extra 15 K noise temperature added by the T/R switch (36 K instead of 21 K) translates to a S/N loss of less than 6 %.

However, when the tests were started in the beginning of January, PIN-diode D1 in two different prototype T/R switches failed, even though the thermal load on these was estimated to be far below the specified maximum. The manufacturer admitted that the bonding strips connecting the diode chips to the external microstrip tabs were underrated and probably fusing under the RF current load. The factory promised to ship some improved engineering samples of the
diode, with larger bonding strips, for further tests.

The completed evaluation of the T/R switch prototypes is Milestone 9.5 of the project. This Milestone was reached in February 2013.

WP10: Aperture synthesis imaging radar

The major activity of this Work Package is the determination of the optimum number of outlying passive phased array antennas and their optimum localisation (antenna configuration) in order to fulfil the imaging (across-beam) spatial resolution criteria of the Aperture Synthesis Imaging Radar (ASIR) technique, which is a major innovation of the EISCAT_3D radars. Close coordination will be maintained with WP2, which covers site selection, in order that the size and geometry of the required sites will be well understood.

Operational software for interferometric image inversion based on the prototype software worked out in the framework of the EISCAT_3D Design Study and using extended simulations will be produced in this Work Package. The software will be employed in the evaluation of candidate antenna configurations. Evaluations will be made of methods other than the Maximum Entropy Method (MEM) for image inversion, feasibility of electron temperature imaging in the ionosphere, and beam coding to improve the matching between the transmitting and receiving patterns used for imaging. Possible impact on other Work Packages (such as the beam-forming aspects of WP7 and WP11) will be analysed. The number and localization of the outlying antennas have a decisive impact on the choice of site for the main radar station, with a consequent interplay of technical and financial issues.

This Work Package contains the following activities:

  • Development of software for the simulation of incoherent scatter signals, so that imaging algorithms can be tested using different configurations of the antenna arrays.
  • Evaluation of different algorithms for image inversion to be used in the aperture synthesis data analysis.
  • Determination of the optimum number of outlying passive phased array antennas and their optimum localisation (antenna configuration) in order to fulfil the imaging (across-beam) spatial resolutions of the Aperture Synthesis Imaging Radar (ASIR) technique.
  • Development of operational software for interferometric image inversion, and its employment in the evaluation of candidate antenna configurations.
  • Beam matching of the transmitting and receiving phased array antennas.

In addition to the normal travel costs, the project plan includes a consultancy cost of 4 k€, to allow an external consultant to visit the University of Tromsø in order to work with the team developing the radar imaging applications.

Deliverable 10.1: Report on the study of outlying receiving site configurations

The high resolution in the horizontal plane that is desired for imaging purposes can be achieved by equipping radar sites with additional receiving points, so called outlying modules, far outside the core antenna. The task of optimal allocation of these outlying modules (outliers) depends, among other initial conditions, on the configuration and size of the core antenna field. Three layout schemes for outlying modules were considered in this report.

Report on the study of outlying receiving site configurations

The simple double triangle configuration (shown above) appears to be more favorable, often demonstrating higher resolution than the other tested layouts.

Deliverable 10.2: Report on the results of the transmitting/receiving antenna beam matching

Antenna compression techniques for atmospheric/ionospheric radar applicationsare used to be able to transmit wide beams with all the available transmitted power.

In most of applications, such schemes should be accompanied by aperture synthesis imaging techniques that will allow resolving space and time ambiguities within the wider beams. Depending on the target of interest and system capabilities, one can apply binary phase coding or parabolic phase fronts.

Report on the results of the
transmitting/receiving antenna beam matching

Here are some specific recommendations or important points to consider for the EISCAT_3D:

  • If the target of interest has long correlation times, then complementary binary phase coding could be used. Its practical implementations will depend on the actual antenna geometry used. If the EISCAT_3D transmitting antenna is a square array, then the same procedure used in Woodman and Chau [2001] can be implemented, if not, similar procedures need to be developed.
  • Parabolic phase fronts are the most recommended procedure if the system allows phase changes with good precision. If the target of interest is very strong (more than 2-30 dB SNR) and small compare to the illuminated volume, then only phase changes are needed. On the other hand, if a very smooth wide beam is needed (e.g., for volume-filling type of targets, or weak targets), then amplitude modulation with good precision is needed on transmission.
  • Fast changes in phase and amplitude are needed (from IPP to IPP) to allow changing the beam shape very rapidly.
  • The maximum beam width that one can achieve will be limited by the minimum size of the antenna module that can have phase changes. For example in the case of Jicamarca, this minimum unit is a module consisting of 12x12 dipoles, then the maximum beamwidth that one can achieve is determined by the beamwidth of the module, i.e., ~8 degrees (HPBW).

Deliverable 10.3: Functional image inversion and visualisation software designed to work with data from the EISCAT_3D system

The problem of radar image inversion is multi-parametric, in most cases under-determined, thus strongly dependent on the quality of the input data. One of the best mathematically defined methods for image inversion is the Maximum Entropy Method (MEM).

The software described in this Deliverable is based on the software prototype developed in Work Package 5 of the FP6 Design Study implementing the MEM.

The software is available as a java package, and is accessible following this link (login required).

Deliverable 10.4: Final report on all activities performed in WP10

This report is a compilation of the activities of Work Package 10, Aperture Synthesis Radar.

The major activity of this Work Package is to determine the optimum number of outlying passive phased array antennas and their optimum antenna configuration in order to satisfy the imaging spatial resolution criteria of the Aperture Synthesis Imaging Radar (ASIR) technique.

The report goes through the conclusions of the different tasks in the Work Package:

  • Task 10.1: Simulation software
  • Task 10.2: Evaluation of inversion algorithms
  • Task 10.3: Outlying receiving site configurations
  • Task 10.4: Development of operational image inversion and visualisation software
  • Task 10.5: Transmitting/receiving antenna beam matching

Milestone 10.1: First version of the low-level simulation software available

In WP10, the possibility to recover images due to incoherent scattering radio signals is demonstrated. This is done, for instance, in order to synthesise images of the highly inhomogeneous distribution of electron density in an aurora across the radar beam. For this purpose, low level (receiver voltage) simulations of incoherent scatter signals is implemented and used for testing all the imaging software components. The production of the first version of this software is Milestone 10.1.

First version of low-level simulation software

This Milestone was reached in February 2011.

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Milestone 10.2: Preliminary evaluation of the different image inversion algorithms ready

The relevance and usefulness of the image inversion algorithm based on the MEM (Maximum Entropy Method) principle has already been shown, and a prototype software package was developed within the FP6 Design Study project. During the EISCAT_3D Preparatory Phase project other existing algorithms are evaluated using simulated data. Milestone 10.2 marks the end-point of the preliminary evaluation of the different image inversion algorithms.

This Milestone was reached in February 2011.

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Milestone 10.3: Preliminary simulations for optimal outlying receiving site configurations completed

The choice of the optimal number and the localisation of the outlying passive phased arrays is a crucial element of the final specification of the imaging radar. This task is carried out using the simulation software produced, and the best inversion algorithm determined, in this Work Package.

The completion of the preliminary simulations for optimal outlying receiving site configurations, to be reported to Work Package 2 to complete the land requirements of the active site, is Milestone 10.3.

Preliminary simulations for optimal outlying receiving site configurations completed

This Milestone was reached in April 2011.

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Milestone 10.4: Simulations for optimal outlying receiving site configurations completed

The choice of the optimal number and the localisation of the outlying passive phased arrays that is needed for the desired high resolution in the horizontal plane, is a crucial element of the final specification of the imaging radar. The task to decide the configuration was carried out using the simulation software produced earlier in the project (Milestone 10.1) applying the best inversion algorithm that was determined earlier in the project (Milestone 10.2).

A report on the study of outlying receiving site configurations has been produced.

This Milestone was reached in August 2011.

Milestone 10.5: Final version of the low-level simulation software ready

In this Work Package, the possibility to recover images due to incoherent scattering radio signals is demonstrated. This is done, for instance, in order to synthesise images of the highly inhomogeneous distribution of electron density in an aurora across the radar beam. The task of simulating the incoherent scatter signal at arbitrary point in the ionosphere was considered earlier and reported as Milestone 10.1. To simulate the voltages at multiple receive sites we need to integrate the elementary scattering points over the volume illuminated by a transmitted pulse. An algorithm has been implemented for this and tested as a part of the operational software for image inversion and visualisation (Task 10.4).

Final version of low-level simulation software

This Milestone was reached in January 2012.

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Milestone 10.6: Different image inversion algorithms evaluated and ranked

Radar image inversion implements techniques of processing that are largely nonlinear. There are infinite number of solutions due to limited (sparse) visibility data (large areas where sampling function is zero), and errors in the measurements themselves. The limited visibility plane coverage (sparse baselines) can be improved by deconvolution processes that allow the unmeasured visibility to take nonzero values within some general constraints on the image. There are two major methods to solve the under-determined problem of image inversion: The CLEAN algorithm and Maximum Entropy Method (MEM). Other techniques, like Capon and Non-Negative Least Squares (NNLS), were also considered during Task 10.2 of the EISCAT_3D Preparatory Phase.

A comparison of the methods (detailed in the final report of Work Package 10) ranked the algorithms as follows:

  1. MEM
  2. CLEAN
  3. Capon
  4. NNLS

The MEM method was determined to be the preferred one since it is most mathematically developed and works well with broad, smooth brightness distributions. In case of presence of point-like sources MEM and CLEAN methods should be combined. The Capon algorithm should be used in case of fast moving targets like satellites or space debris.

Finishing this comparison and ranking corresponds to Milestone 10.6 of the project, and this Milestone was reached in May 2012.

WP11: Software theory and implementation

The purpose of this Work Package is to develop the software modules that are required for the data processing and analysis tasks of the EISCAT_3D radar system. The development of new data algorithms and software is needed because of the complexity of a distributed phased-array incoherent radar system compared to earlier systems.

This Work Package involves the following activities:

  • Parallelisation of the basic inverse problem-solving tools for signal processing and data analysis for use in the EISCAT_3D radar system.
  • Production of software for the signal processing and beam-forming systems, which is done with tight connections to WP7 (Digital Signal Processing).
  • Development of multi-purpose codes to allow the EISCAT_3D system to be used in an optimised fashion.
  • Development of data analysis software to to be applicable to multi-beam measurements and imaging applications, and to allow for some new experimental methods that the new system will allow.
  • Integration of EISCAT_3D hardware and software.
  • The software development will interact with the system control work (WP12), and also needs a strong link with the science requirements (WP3) and the data handling and distribution activities (WP13), since the software performance will set constraints on the time and spatial resolutions and measurement accuracies which can be achieved, as well as critically determining the size and content of the EISCAT_3D low-level data.

    For several of the Tasks in this Work Package access to a parallel computer is required. This device needs to be located physically near the Digital Signal Processing system developed in WP7 since the data rate speeds are too high to use a remotely located parallel system. For this reason, the project plan includes funding to buy or lease a parallel computing device for the duration of the work.

Deliverable 11.1: Software package for EISCAT_3D data analysis

Work Package 11 the software modules that are required for the data
processing and analysis tasks of the EISCAT_3D radar system are developed.

Deliverable 11.1 consists of two software products, the Lag Profile Inversion (LPI) software and R Linear Inverse Problem Solver (RLIPS) software. Both products are packages in the R software programming language. The documentation of the software is also part of the Deliverable.

Both software included in this Deliverable are licensed under freeBSD license.

Deliverable 11.2: Comprehensive report, describing and justifying the choice of the selected hardware and software

The purpose of Work Package 11 is to develop the software modules that are required for the data processing and analysis tasks of the EISCAT_3D radar system. The development of new data algorithms and software is needed because of the complexity of a distributed phased-array incoherent radar system compared to earlier systems.

The Work Package consisted of five tasks

Task 11.1
Parallelisation of the basic inverse problem-solving tools for signal processing and data analysis for use in the EISCAT_3D radar system.
Task 11.2
Production of software for the signal processing and beam-forming systems, which is done with tight connections to WP7 (Digital Signal Processing).
Task11.3
Development of multi-purpose codes to allow the EISCAT_3D system to be used in an optimised fashion.
Task 11.4
Development of data analysis software to to be applicable to multibeam measurements and imaging applications, and to allow for some new experimental methods that the new system will allow.
Task 11.5
Integration of EISCAT_3D hardware and software

In the report we give a summary of the work done. The actual theory behind the software and the documentation of their implementation is given as Appendices, a list of which is given at the end of this document.

Milestone 11.1: Initial versions of signal processing and beam-forming

Task 11.2 of the EISCAT_3D Preparatory Phase project concerns the development of signal processing and beam-forming software. It consists of the implementation of the software architecture defined in the handbook of measurement principles (produced in Work Package 6), comprising time-delay filtering, and summation calculations for beam-forming.

This Milestone was reached when the initial version of this software was ready, which was in September 2012.

Milestone 11.2: Completion of FLIPS development

Task 11.1 of the EISCAT_3D Preparatory Phase deals with parallelisation of the basic inverse problem-solving tools for signal processing and data analysis, to be used with the EISCAT_3D radar system.

Inversion techniques will be at the core of EISCAT_3D computations in signal processing, beam-forming, interferometry and data analysis. The Fortran Linear Inverse Problem Solver (FLIPS) is an open-source software tool, developed by the Finnish Centre of Excellence in Inverse Problems, funded by the Academy of Finland. For the use in EISCAT_3D, it has to be adapted to run on an HPC cluster, making optimum use of multiple processors in a single CPU. It also requires an efficient interface to a standard programming language.

Now the R package RLIPS is ready and usable, satisfying the requirements. The comprehensive documentation will be included in the final report of Work Package 11 (Deliverable 11.2).

This Milestone was reached in October 2012.

Milestone 11.3: Completion of multi-purpose codes and analysis development

This Milestone was reached in September 2013.

Milestone 11.4: A consistent set of optimised hardware and software identified

A consistent set of optimised hardware and software was identified in June 2014. The details are described in Deliverable 11.1 and Deliverable 11.2, and it constitutes Milestone 11.4.

WP12: System control

This Work Package determines the changes that are needed to be implemented in the existing EISCAT system control software (EROS) in order to control a system on the scale envisaged for EISCAT_3D with sufficient flexibility and programmability.

The FP6 Design Study concluded that the current EISCAT control software was capable of coping with all the basic control tasks in a moderately distributed environment. EISCAT_3D will, however, be based on large phased arrays with distributed hardware, with significantly larger flexibility. This will require hardware device driver software with vastly increased complexity, however this is outside the scope of WP12. To fully utilise the increased flexibility of a digitally controlled phased array, increased communication between the (hardware) device (driver), EROS and potential programs controlling EROS/the programs needs to be accommodated as well as external (geophysical) triggering events to automatically modify the radar operations.

In addition, EISCAT_3D makes possible a number of innovative additions to radar operations, such as the possibility to run multiple simultaneous modes, running and re-configuring the data system, for example responding to conditions, running and re-configuring the data system, and responding to the detection of small-scale structure by the interferometric imaging capability.

This relatively small Work Package will involve the following activities:

  • Determining whether EROS can be generalised to run in such a computing architecture, and resolving any potential problems that may be found.
  • Assessing what kinds of modifications to the core control software are needed to address the new opportunities that the EISCAT_3D hardware enables.
  • Ensuring the ability of the subsystems to send asynchronous messages to EROS when necessary.
  • Creating an initial implementation of external programmatic EROS control.

The Work Package begins, after the initial version of the Performance Specification Document is issued, and continues until an upgraded version of the operating system will be made available. Interactions with WP6 and WP11 are required to ensure compatibility with the Performance Specification and the low-level software design.

Deliverable 12.1: Completed version of EROS for EISCAT_3D

In the original plan for EISCAT_3D Preparatory Phase, the EISCAT system control software (EROS) was to be rewritten in order to work in a system that is considerably more distributed than the present one. However, that goal was found to lie outside the scope of the EISCAT_3D Preparatory Phase since the work requires that the system hardware is defined. These modifications of EROS will be made after the Preparatory Phase.

This means that Deliverable 12.1 will not be produced inside the EISCAT_3D Preparatory Phase project.

Deliverable 12.2: Final report on WP12 activities

The tasks of this Work Package were designed to facilitate the next evolutionary steps in EISCAT system control. Deliverable 12.2 is the final report of the activities related to this aim.

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Milestone 12.1: Distributed version of EROS completed and demonstrated

In the original plan for EISCAT_3D Preparatory Phase, the EISCAT system control software (EROS) was to be rewritten in order to work in a system that is considerably more distributed than the present one. However, that goal was found to lie outside the scope of the EISCAT_3D Preparatory Phase since the work requires that the system hardware is defined. These modifications and the testing of EROS will be made after the Preparatory Phase

This means that Milestone 12.1 will not be reached during EISCAT_3D Preparatory Phase project.

Milestone 12.2: Required extensions to EROS completed and assessed

In this Work Package, quite a few new EROS commands, or enhancements to old ones, have been added over and above EROS5, both on user level and behind the scenes. These commands are not directly related to hardware control, but rather to generic aspects of radar operations such as notifications and multi-tasking. Such features are desirable also for the present EISCAT systems, and, importantly, can be properly tested already on the present systems. Therefore these extensions to EROS were implemented and assessed at this stage in the EISCAT_3D project.

The completion of these extensions constitutes Milestone 12.2. This Milestone was reached in January 2014.

WP13: Data handling and distribution

This Work Package determines how the EISCAT_3D data system will be implemented on the e-infrastructure which currently exists in northern Scandinavia (or that which is planned for the near future). Carried out by Uppsala University (UU), hosting the Swedish National Infrastructure for Computing (SNIC) together with Umeå University, third party of UU, it will engage with the national providers of networking, storage and high performance computing to ensure that the requirements of the project can be optimally satisfied. SNIC will perform this work interacting with EISCAT Scientific Association, University of Oulu, STFC and National Instruments.

In the FP6 Design Study an extensive Work Package was devoted to the design of a two-tier data system, in which high volume data would be held close to the array before being optimally processed into lower-volume data products for transfer into a long-term data archive. It was shown that systems of the required capacity could be realised with existing technology. However, such systems are expensive and their operation is quite resource intensive for a small organization such as EISCAT.

In this Work Package the following activities will be performed:

  • Determining how to address the networking requirements, using existing fibre networks as far as possible.
  • Examination of any changes to the data-handling philosophy which might be required if the Software-Defined Radio philosophy is adopted for the signal processing and beam-forming.
  • Examination of the potential of existing resource providers to help address the storage and computing requirements for the EISCAT_3D system.

This Work Package will be carried out in close collaboration with WP2, WP3 and WP11, in order to ensure that the demands of the data system are consistent with the EISCAT_3D hardware and software, that they are matched to the availability of local infrastructure, and that the products available from the data system match the requirements of the future EISCAT_3D users, including those in areas such as applications and modelling.

Deliverable 13.1: Report on the analysis of the different data products

In the original plan for EISCAT_3D Preparatory Phase, Task 13.3 (Interaction with other ESFRI projects) and Task 13.5 (Analysis of data products and services) would interact with other ESFRI projects and would synthesize the outputs from Work Package 3 and the technical Work Packages in this project.

These activities will take place within other projects such as ESPAS, ENVRI and COOPEUS, where EISCAT and EISCAT_3D participates. This means that Deliverable 13.1 will not be produced inside the EISCAT_3D Preparatory Phase project.

Deliverable 13.2: Final report on all the activities in WP13

Work Package 13 in the EISCAT_3D Preparatory Phase FP7 project analyses the requirements and implementation of the data processing and datahandling in EISCAT_3D. The advanced nature of the EISCAT_3D instrument poses genuine challenges for data handling and processing. This report contains suggestions for the organisation of an EISCAT_3D data centre in order to meet these challenges.

Milestone 13.1: Report on the networking requirements and provision aspects to the identified sites task completed

Task 13.1 of the EISCAT_3D Preparatory Phase project was to determine how to address the networking requirements for the EISCAT_3D system, using existing fibre networks as far as possible.

This Milestone was reached in July 2013 and results are included in a document prepared by EISCAT for the EGI project in August 2013.

See: www.eiscat3d.se/content/e-infrastructure-eiscat3d

Milestone 13.2: Report on consequences of signal processing strategy

Task 13.2 of the EISCAT_3D Preparatory Phase project involved an examination of any changes to the data-handling philosophy which might be required if the Software-Defined Radio philosophy is adopted for the signal processing and beam-forming

A report was scheduled for presentation during the EISCAT_3D Technical Meeting in Kiruna, 5 November 2013 but it had to be cancelled due to travel problems. The report was then presented in a meeting with EISCAT_3D stakeholders in January 2014, together with recommendations regarding data distribution, archiving, services and analysis (Milestone 13.3).

This Milestone was thus reached in January 2014.

Milestone 13.3: Recommendations regarding data distribution, archiving, services and analysis

Task 13.4 of the EISCAT_3D Preparatory Phase involved an examination of the potential of existing resource providers to help address the data storage and computing requirements for the EISCAT_3D system.

The recommendations were presented to the representatives of e-infrastructure institutions and network providers in the EISCAT host countries in a meeting 14 January 2014 in Stockholm, during which the participants agreed to continue the discussion on the project and support the preparation of the work package deliverable.

The participants at this meeting were:

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WP14: Technical integration and production issues

This Work Package will focus on technical integration between the various sub-systems and the overall manufacturing and reliability attention. The Work Package starts halfway through the project when the RTD oriented Work Packages are well underway. Several sub-parts are deemed to be fairly standardised and are intended to be used integrated in the final system together with the unique parts that will be developed primarily in Work Packages 7, 8 and 9. The technical integration will identify and incorporate all parts of the whole system into a producible system. This activity is also vital for the costing of the whole system, and the findings will be used by several Work Packages, but particularly in WP5, Consortium Building.

This Work Package addresses also the way in which the different parts of EISCAT_3D can be specified for mass production at affordable prices. This task will involve engagement with experts in technical designs, production engineering, manufacturing and procurement of small to large scale systems. The findings will be used for the final tasks in the work package, the material for preparing the formal requests for quotation.
The activities that will be performed in this Work Package are:

  • Identification and specification of the components of the EISCAT_3D radar system that could be mass-produced.
  • Identification of companies capable of producing EISCAT_3D system elements in the volumes we require.
  • Definition of procedures for system testing and quality assurance.
  • Discussions with possible suppliers of mass-producible elements, and iteration of the design of those components.
  • Building prototypes for testing and verification purposes.
  • Preparation of the formal Requests For Quotations (RFQs) that will be sent out to potential manufacturers at the beginning of the EISCAT_3D Construction Phase.

It is anticipated that a number of industrial sub-contracts will be required in this Work Package, in order to develop and test prototypes of the mass-producible system components. In addition to the budgeted staff effort, the project plan thus includes 129 k€ to be used for sub-contracting the manufacturing and optimisation of a limited number of complete vendor-built subset units.

Note that access to Deliverable 14.1 (Summary of the findings from the prototyping and verification process) is only available to participants of the EISCAT_3D Preparatory Phase project.

Deliverable 14.2: Technical input to the request for quotations for all mass-producible components ready

A document was prepared to give background technical information about the EISCAT_3D system in the initial discussions with potential in-kind contributors. This document is also a starting point for as technical input for future requests for quotations.

The document is Deliverable 14.2 in the EISCAT_3D Preparatory Phase.

Deliverable 14.3: Final Report on WP14

Work Package 14 was designed to deal with issues involving the integration of the various EISCAT_3D subsystems into an overall working instrument as well as ensuring that those subsystems are both reliably producible in large quantities and robust in terms of the environment into which they are to be placed. In many cases, the boundaries between subsystems were defined under WP14 and, to some extent, the interfaces specified. This work package was, furthermore, specifically scheduled to start near the middle of the preparatory phase project, after many of the key decisions had been finalized for the component parts of the system.

Progress on this work package was significantly impacted by the preparatory phase project restructuring that occurred in late 2012. This restructuring was partly responsible for delays in many of the other work package conclusions. Additionally, the initially intended funding model for EISCAT_3D required modification to address several conditions imposed by the EISCAT member countries that are intending to make major investments in the realization of the system. Nevertheless, WP14 was able to make significant progress in several key areas.

This deliverable is the final report on the activities in WP14.

Milestone 14.1: Mass-producible components identified and a comprehensive list prepared

A comprehensive list of the different components required for the construction of the full EISCAT_3D system has been compiled in order to produce the first version of the technical description document.

The original version of this list was prepared in December 2013, and it corresponds to Milestone 14.1.

Milestone 14.2: A list of potential suppliers of the mass-producible components compiled

It was originally planned that the funding model for EISCAT_3D was to be essentially the same as that for the overall EISCAT Scientific Association. This would mean that only cash contributions to the project would be made, to grant both flexibility during the tendering and integration activities and full control over the internal designs of the sub-systems.

However, discussions with the various funding agencies within the EISCAT Scientific Association have necessitated a change to this initial plan. In particular, it has become clear that some of the national contributions to EISCAT_3D will likely need to be handled as in-­kind contributions to the overall system. Given that only a small fraction of the cost of the system is commercial off the shelf hardware, this also implies that the development of any in‐kind contributions will also need substantial EISCAT involvement.

The new approach to organising the funding of the overall system from multiple nations clearly has some implications for both the technical integration and the management of large-scale procurement/production of the hardware.

EISCAT was directed to produce a Cost Book to specify which components are amenable to in-kind contributions and to place a value on those contributions. The Cost Book itself is a confidential document as it contains price goals for the various sub-systems within EISCAT_3D and revealing those price goals publicly would taint the tendering process.

This approach has obsoleted the need for the list of potential suppliers that was originally required. Thus, the corresponding Milestone was not reached within the project.

Milestone 14.3: Testing and validation procedures for each component of the EISCAT_3D system specified

The change of approach to organising the funding of the overall system that was briefly described in connection with Milestone 14.2 also meant that the specification of testing and validation procedures for each component of the EISCAT_3D system is made outside the EISCAT_3D Preparatory Phase project. Thus, the corresponding Milestone could not be reached within the project.

Milestone 14.4: Conclusion of the prototyping and verification period

Part of Work Package 14 includes work regarding prototyping and verification aiming at achieving production ready designs. A number of external influences, including direction from EISCAT funding agencies, resulted in a more limited scope for this work, since some sub-systems of EISCAT_3D, for instance, will likely be provided as in-kind contributions. As a result, the efforts in this work package was concentrated on prototypes for the antenna and the low noise amplifier, which are least affected by these influences.

A report from these activities is Deliverable 14.1. The conclusion of the prototyping and verification period forms Milestone 14.4, and this Milestone was reached in September 2014.

Related presentations

During the four year EISCAT_3D Preparatory Phase, there will be many presentations at workshops, conferences, and similar meetings that may be of interest for future reference. These are collected here.

Visit from Frank Lind and Moyra Malone 1-4 February 2011

The EISCAT_3D Executive Board invited Frank Lind (MIT Haystack Observatory) and Moyra Malone (SRI International) to a meeting in Stockholm on 1 February 2011, where they shared their experiences from software radars and mass-production issues. They later travelled to Kiruna where Frank Lind held a seminar at the Swedish Institute of Space Physics.

Their presentations are now available.

Letters of Support for EISCAT_3D

As part of our efforts to publicise the project EISCAT_3D, A European Three-Dimensional Imaging Radar for Atmospheric and Geospace Research, we have created an additional category of membership, called Associate Partnership. This is a purely honorary category of association, which implies no financial commitment to the project. The intention is to provide a means by which the wider community can associate themselves with the aims of EISCAT_3D, and to demonstrate the existence of a diverse user community which clearly understands the benefits of the new infrastructure. We have invited Letters of Support from research groups and institutes who wish to be identified as Associate Partners.

We have received several answers to this call with Letters of Support for the EISCAT_3D project. If you are interested in supporting the EISCAT_3D project, you should contact us. The letters that we have already received are compiled here.

International - The European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) Action ES0803

COST Action ES0803, “Developing Space Weather Products and Services in Europe”, aims to foster the ties between European geospace research, space technology establishments and users of space weather services. It is a cooperation between 21 countries. The Action is fully supportive of the idea of developing the final plans on how to construct the next generation incoherent scatter radar facility. Located at high latitudes in the European Arctic, the radar will be based on phased-array antennas and have 3D imaging capability. Having such a facility as a European research infrastructure will greatly enhance the available information needed in building and continuously developing the European services for space weather and space situational awareness. As EISCAT_3D contains a large technological development aspect for incoherent scatter radar measurements, its successful realisation would help in long-term development of European space weather related services and hopefully also later open up new pathways to develop similar technologies to be used elsewhere.

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PDF icon COST ES0803 support letter108.21 KB

Austria - Institute of Communication Networks and Satellite Communications (IKS), Graz University of Technology

IKS performs education and research in the field of communication technologies with emphasis on hybrid systems. The acting range comprises satellite based bidirectional communications as well as challenges for comprehensive networks. IKS is very familiar with the complementary science that EISCAT yields to sounding rocket research, and is confident that the ambitious new version of EISCAT will similarly produce essential new data, but - again - also be valuable to support science by sounding rockets. IKS is therefore happy to be identified as an associate partner in the application.

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PDF icon Graz support letter77.43 KB

Belgium - Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy (BISA)

BISA was created in 1964 and its main tasks are public service and research in the field of the space aeronomy, The space physics group at BISA is particularly interested in the formation of auroral arcs and in the complex couplings between the ionosphere and the magnetosphere. In this framework, in the last two years, we have had access twice to the EISCAT facilities thanks to the EU funds of the Trans National Access programme. BISA is very supportive of the EISCAT_3D project and would like to be identified as an Associate partner in the proposal.

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PDF icon BISA support letter177.6 KB

Canada - Communications Research Centre (CRC)

CRC, Canada, conducts research and development that includes research on radio propagation effects such as scintillation. The future incoherent scatter radars including the EISCAT_3D in Scandinavia and the Advanced Modular Incoherent Scattering Radar (AMISR), which will have a Canadian component in Resolute Bay, will provide needed support for the study of ionospheric scintillation in the Arctic using the Canadian High Arctic Ionospheric Network (CHAIN). The EISCAT_3D project is an important step forward in ionospheric remote sensing that will most certainly enhance our knowledge of the atmosphere, radio propagation and space weather effects on communication and navigation systems.

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PDF icon CRC support letter45.21 KB

Canada - Institute of Space and Atmospheric Studies (ISAS), University of Saskatchewan

ISAS is a research unit of the University of Saskatchewan. Research activities are based upon a diverse set of observational systems, including ground-based radar and optical devices, and satellite-systems. The areas of research for which EISCAT_3D can be used, including studies of upper atmosphere to interplanetary space, are directly aligned with both the current research focus of ISAS and planned future investigations. In addition, the research of ISAS and EISCAT is naturally linked, thanks to the geophysical processes that connect the European and North American sectors over the polar cap. As co‐investigators of the Canadian incoherent scatter radar at Resolute Bay (RISR‐C) and partners in the international SuperDARN consortium, amongst many other partnerships, ISAS is therefore pleased to be invited to participate in EISCAT_3D as an Associate Partner.

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PDF icon Saskatchewan support letter80.61 KB

Canada - University of Calgary (UofC)

UofC is one of Canada's leading research universities. There is large interest of Department of Physics and Astronomy at UofC in the EISCAT_3D project. Obviously, it is in the best interest of the research group to keep abreast of the developments leading up to EISCAT_3D. The group would be most pleased to have “Associate Partner Status”. The research team, and other colleagues at the University of Calgary, will be actively engaged in EISCAT_3D activities, and will certainly be keenly interested in using the data when the project comes to fruition.

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PDF icon Calgary support letter38.53 KB

Czech Republic - Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic (ASCR)

The Institute of Atmospheric Physics of the ASCR, Prague, is interested in ionospheric investigations with new EISCAT equipment and fully supports EISCAT_3D. ASCR would like to propose a project and measuring campaign for investigations of behaviour of the F1 region of the ionosphere during geomagnetic storms, partly in relation with development of the International Reference Ionosphere (IRI). ASCR is also interested in using EISCAT data (both new measurements and suitable data from current EISCAT database) for studying various aspects of ionospheric variability at high latitudes.

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PDF icon ASCR support letter26.51 KB

Ethiopia - Washera Geospace and Radar Science Laboratory (WaGRL), Bahir Dar University

WaGRL is a research and training centre laboratory in Geospace and radar science at Bahir Dar University. It has three research units, namely radar system unit, equatorial ionospheric science unit and virtual physics unit. WaGRL is looking forward to seeing the establishment of EISCAT_3D, which will not only increase our knowledge of the atmosphere and its connection to the Sun, but also bond us much more strongly in science and technology.

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PDF icon Bahir Dar support letter102.89 KB

Finland - Department for Education and Science Policy, Finnish Ministry of Education

Within the Finnish Government, the Ministry of Education is responsible for developing educational, science, cultural, sport and youth policies and international cooperation in these fields. At the Ministry of Education science policy is the responsibility of the Department for Education and Science Policy and its Science Policy Division. Current priorities are to develop public research funding, raise the profile of Finnish science, to intensify the utilisation of research findings and to improve the knowledge base for science policy. The Ministry of Education support the Finnish participation in the preparatory phase of EISCAT_3D and foresee EISCAT_3D as an important future platform for Finnish scientists to contribute in the research and advanced observations of Arctic atmosphere phenomena.

Finland - Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI)

The main research subject of FMI is the Earth's atmosphere. Other research topics include the study of near space and solar influence on the planet's atmospheres. EISCAT_3D will open several new ways to investigate upper atmospheric phenomena and their coupling with near-Earth space. Consequently, FMI is happy to serve as an associated partner in this initiative and wish that the proposal will be funded in the Preparatory Phase program.

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PDF icon FMI support letter16.89 KB

France - Institut National des Sciences de l'Univers (INSU), CNRS, Paris

INSU is an institute under the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) whose mission is to develop, expand and co-ordinate research on a national scale and international astronomy, earth science, ocean, atmosphere and space. CNRS-INSU is happy to be involved as “associate partner” in the EISCAT_3D proposal, with two laboratories, the Laboratoire de Planétologie de Grenoble (LPG) and the Centre d’Etude Spatiale des Rayonnement (CESR).

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PDF icon CNRS support letter72.79 KB

Germany - Institute of Meteorology, University of Leipzig

The University of Leipzig is one of the oldest Universities in Europe. The middle and upper atmosphere sciences group at the University of Leipzig is strongly interested in the techniques and capabilities of the international incoherent scatter radar community, and look forward to the scientific advances which will be connected with the completion of EISCAT_3D. The Institute for Meteorology supports the EISCAT_3D project and appreciates to be identified as an associate partner in the application for this important advance in radar technology.

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PDF icon Leipzig support letter62.79 KB

Germany - Leibniz-Institute of Atmospheric Physics (IAP), University of Rostock

The Leibniz-Institute is one of the German main centres for Middle Atmosphere research and operates active cooperations with several international research organizations. The main scientific objective studied at the IAP is the middle atmosphere in the altitude range 10-100 km with particular emphasis on the dynamical coupling between the lower and middle atmosphere. IAP believes that EISCAT_3D is an ambitious and exciting project, and would be very happy to be identified as an associate partner in the application.

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PDF icon Leibniz-Institute support letter575.49 KB

India - Department of Aerospace Engineering, Indian Institute of Science (IIS)

IIS, the premier academic institution of India focused on science and technology research, pursues a broad range of topics which include many of the science goals and possibilities as well as techniques relevant to EISCAT_3D. The Aerospace Systems group of IIS has strong interest and experience in geospace techniques and observation. The group supports the EISCAT_3D project goals as being highly beneficial to global science and environment, and will welcome being identified as an Associate Partner in the project.

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PDF icon IIS support letter78.44 KB

Italy - Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia (INGV), Rome

INGV was created in 1999 to gather all Italian scientific and technical institutions operating in Geophysics and Volcanology and to create a permanent national scientific forum in the Earth Sciences. INGV is fully supportive of the EISCAT_3D project. The Atmospheric Sciences Group of INGV has a strong interest in the techniques, capabilities, and health of the international incoherent scatter radar community, and look forward to the scientific advances which will accompany the completion and operation of EISCAT_3D.

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PDF icon INGV support letter369.74 KB

Kosovo - University of Pristina

University of Pristina is the largest university in Kosovo with more than 30.000 students. It consists of 17 faculties, amongst them the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences. The project EISCAT_3D ensures the continuity of the EISCAT scientific system which has achieved to contribute so much in understanding the nature around us. University of Pristina believes that EISCAT_3D will open more windows to see and understand the atmospheric phenomena and beyond. A number of young scientists in Kosovo are interested to see the project EISCAT_3D being implemented as they are seeking an opportunity to be enrolled and to contribute on the field of atmospheric science.

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PDF icon Pristina support letter94.71 KB

New Zealand - University of Otago

The space physics group at the University of Otago is one of the leading institutions in the Antarctic-Arctic Radiation-belt (Dynamic) Deposition – VLF Atmospheric Research Konsortium (AARDDVARK) network of global ionospheric monitoring stations. They believe that the new capabilities which will be possible with EISCAT_3D will lead to significant increases in the range of scientific questions EISCAT can contribute to, including many which are of compelling and fundamental interest to the international community. There is now a powerful set of studies which very strongly suggest that Earth's environment is modified on short-term time scales by solar variability. This coupling is complex, stretching through solar-space-magnetosphere-ionosphere-atmosphere linking processes, but EISCAT_3D will help us to directly view many parts of these environmental links.

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PDF icon Otago support letter46.14 KB

Norway - Andøya Rocket Range

Andøya Rocket Range is a major operator of ground based scientific instrumentation in northern Norway and a long list of projects, which facilitated instrumentation from EISCAT and the ALOMAR Observatory on Andøya could be attached to demonstrate the previous cooperations. The EISCAT_3D initiative is an important step to improve the cluster of scientific instruments in the European Arctic and hence towards a better understanding of the complex system atmosphere and near space. Andøya Rocket Range is positive to be invited as an Associated Partner in the EISCAT_3D project.

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PDF icon Andøya support letter186.81 KB

Norway - Department of Physics, University of Oslo

The University of Oslo is Norway’s largest and oldest institution of higher education. The Department of Physics at the University of Oslo wants to take advantage of the proposed EISCAT_3D advanced radar system in combination with sounding rockets from Andøya to study turbulent plasma in the auroral zone/polar cap, which is a highly relevant atmospheric space weather phenomenon for GNSS and communication systems.

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PDF icon Oslo support letter45.7 KB

Norway - Norwegian Mapping Authority (NMA)

A major task of the NMA is the operation and the development of geodetic networks and services for accurate positioning using Global Navigational Satellite Systems (GNSS). Developments in the field of ionospheric, atmospheric and space weather research are of particular interest for the NMA. Therefore, the NMA fully supports the scientific aims of EISCAT_3D, confident that the new radar technique will play a leading role within the intended research fields, especially to improve the knowledge regarding the ionospheric influence on GNSS applications.

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PDF icon NMA support letter39.92 KB

Norway - Research Council of Norway (RCN)

RCN is a Norwegian government agency responsible for awarding grands for research as well as promoting research and science. Norway was one of seven founding partners when the EISCAT Scientific Association was founded in 1975. The EISCAT radar systems have provided state-of-the-art facilities for scientific studies of the upper atmosphere, ionosphere, the northern lights and other plasma physics processes, as well as the importance of the high latitude regions for the global atmospheric circulation and input to climate modelling. RCN recommends that the Department of Physics and Technology, University of Tromsø, is endorsed as contributing partner of the EISCAT_3D consortium, as partner in the Preparatory Phase project.

Norway - The University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS)

UNIS has an excellent ongoing collaboration with EISCAT in the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard. UNIS is already a very active user of the existing EISCAT facilities; both for scientific research and higher education facilities. In 2008 UNIS opened the world's largest auroral observatory (The Kjell Henriksen Observatory). A few months later UNIS acquired SPEAR, the northernmost ionospheric heating facility in the world, from the University of Leicester. EISCAT_3D is therefore a perfect match with the current interests of UNIS in upper polar atmosphere and space physics research.

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PDF icon Svalbard support letter776.62 KB

Norway - University of Bergen (UiB)

The University of Bergen has the reputation of being Norway's most international university. It is heavily involved in international co-operation in research and education. UiB is engaged in the European Union's Framework programmes for research and technological development and has been designated as a European Research Infrastructure and a Research Training Site in several scientific fields. The Space Physics Group at UiB believes that EISCAT_3D is an ambitious and exciting project and is very happy to be identified as an associate partner.

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PDF icon Bergen support letter20.94 KB

Peru - Jicamarca Radio Observatory (JRO)

The JRO is the premier scientific facility in the world for studying the equatorial ionosphere. Although the regions of study are different, Equator versus Arctic, there are many technical and scientific topics in common between JRO and EISCAT. The proposed EISCAT_3D system involves technological advances that will employ the latest technologies to solve Geospace problems that require solving space and time ambiguities as well as to improve time and space resolutions. From a technical point of view there is particular interest in collaboration with in the development and application of the aperture synthesis imaging (in-beam imaging) that have been successfully applied at JRO to study the equatorial ionospheric irregularities.

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PDF icon Jicamarca support letter108.91 KB

Romania - Physics Department, University “Dunarea de Jos” of Galati

The research group at the European Centre of Excellence and Physics Department, Faculty of Sciences, Dunarea de Jos University of Galati, is happy to be identified as an associate partner in the EISCAT_3D application to the Preparatory Phase EU actions call. There have already been collaborations with people in the EISCAT community and the EISCAT_3D facilities would be a great opportunity for increasing Romanian participation to space-related research. The strong capabilities designed for EISCAT_3D will contribute significantly to understanding short and long-term links and couplings between Sun, space and Earth environmental processes.

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PDF icon Galati support letter102.64 KB

Russia - Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute (AARI)

AARI belongs to the Russian federal service for hydro-meteorology and environmental monitoring. Organized in 1920, AARI is the oldest and the largest Russian research institution in the field of comprehensive studies of the Polar Regions. AARI is already a very active user of the existing EISCAT facilities such as the incoherent scatter radars and the HF heating facility in Tromsø, and is fully convinced that this collaboration will be further strengthened if EISCAT_3D is funded. The new capabilities which will be possible with EISCAT_3D will lead to a significant increase in the range of scientific questions which are compelling and fundamental interest to the international scientific community.

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PDF icon AARI support letter33.57 KB

Russia - Institute of Solar-Terrestrial Physics (ISTP), Irkutsk

ISTP of Siberian Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences Institute of Solar-Terrestrial Physics was founded in 1960 on the basis of the Siberia's oldest geomagnetic observatory formed in 1886. The main scientific areas of ISTP SB RAS are: Current problems of astronomy, astrophysics and space research, including solar and interplanetary medium physics, physics of the near-Earth space, ionosphere and atmosphere; investigation into solar-terrestrial relationships; development of astrophysical and geophysical research methods and equipment. ISTP fully supports the aims of the EISCAT_3D project and agrees to be identified as an Associate Partner in the application. The Upper Atmosphere Physics and Radiowave Propagation Department of ISTP has a strong interest in the techniques, capabilities, and prosperity of the international incoherent scatter radar community.

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PDF icon ISTP support letter18.38 KB

Russia - Pushkov Institute of Terrestrial Magnetism, Ionosphere and Radio Wave Propagation (IZMIRAN), Moscow

IZMIRAN of the Russian Academy of Science studies solar and terrestrial physics, physics of the solar-terrestrial relations, cosmic rays, physics of the ionosphere and magnetosphere, the ionosphere and magnetosphere radio wave propagation, magnetism of the Earth and planets of the solar system. IZMIRAN is fully supportive of the EISCAT_3D project realisation. A 3D control of the auroral upper atmosphere is a key point for global thermosphere and ionosphere forecast. The IZMIRAN ionospheric department is strongly interested in the international cooperation on the researches with such a unique installation.

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PDF icon IZMIRAN support letter704.4 KB

Russia - The Polar Geophysical Institute (PGI), Murmansk

The Polar Geophysical Institute of Russian Academy if Science is fully supportive of the EISCAT_3D project. PGI is already a user of existing EISCAT facilities both on the mainland (including heating facility in Tromsø) and in Spitsbergen archipelago. Many interesting scientific results have been obtained in collaboration with colleagues from Swedish Institute of Space Physics, University of Tromsø, University of Oulu, and the opportunity to grow a closer collaboration with the EISCAT community is welcomed.

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PDF icon PGI support letter64.86 KB

Slovenia - Centre for Atmospheric Research, University of Nova Gorica

University of Nova Gorica aims to be an independent, research oriented and student friendly university, where knowledge is formed within a harmonious relationship between students and researchers, so that the knowledge can be transferred to younger generations and into business environment. The University of Nova Gorica thinks that EISCAT_3D is an ambitious project which is highly needed for the advancement of present research methodologies in the fields of atmospheric and geospace science. It will certainly allow for the achievement of scientific discoveries beyond the state of the art. The centre for atmospheric research and the University of Nova Gorica is happy to be identified as an associate partner of EISCAT_3D.

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PDF icon Nova Gorica support letter812.27 KB

Sweden - Onsala Space Observatory, Chalmers University of Technology

Onsala Space Observatory, the Swedish National Facility for Radio Astronomy, is fully supportive of the EISCAT_3D project, and it agrees to be identified as an Associate Partner in the application “A next generation atmosphere and space environment radar for the European research community”. The observatory is particularly interested in the possibility of EISCAT_3D also becoming available for the LOFAR project. A LOFAR station has been bought, which is currently being installed at the Onsala site, and the observatory is channeling the Swedish astronomical interests in the International LOFAR project.

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PDF icon Onsala support letter407.25 KB

Sweden - The Space and Plasma Physics Division, Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Stockholm

This group has been associated with EISCAT research for many years. In the past several years it has operated the ASK (Auroral Structure and Kinetics) multispectral imager at the Svalbard and Ramfjordmoen sites, and has been involved in the exciting development of the interferometric capability for the EISCAT Svalbard Radar, jointly with Tromsø University, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, and University of Southampton. There are also longer term plans for participation in sounding rocket studies in Scandinavia. Interferometric capability of EISCAT_3D is crucial to addressing the dynamics of the finest scales in the aurora, and the potential resolution will match that achievable with optical instruments. The group would be pleased to join the EISCAT_3D proposal for European Union 7th Framework Programme as an Associate Partner.

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PDF icon KTH support letter926.18 KB

UK - Aberystwyth University / Prifysgol Aberystwyth

Aberystwyth has a long history of involvement with EISCAT and would like to see this relationship continue and strengthen as EISCAT_3D develops. Aberystwyth's particular interests in EISCAT in recent years have emphasised studies of the solar wind, and this research has been strengthened by becoming a full member of the LOFAR-UK consortium. Full participation in EISCAT_3D as a member institution would allow to further build on these developments, and would integrate the solar wind experiments in terms of future planning for the EISCAT consortium. Aberystwyth University, its Institute of Mathematics and Physics and Solar System Research Group believe that EISCAT_3D is an extremely exciting project and would be happy to be identified as a partner in this collaboration.

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PDF icon Aberystwyth support letter645.42 KB

UK - Atmospheric Physics Laboratory, University College London

The Atmospheric Physics Laboratory and the Department of Physics and Astronomy at University College London has had a strong association with EISCAT from its beginnings and welcomes the new possibilities that the advanced radar capabilities will bring to atmospheric research. The group has optical instruments co-located with the EISCAT radars on the Scandinavian mainland and on Svalbard. The group's 3-dimensional terrestrial atmosphere model covers the stratosphere through to the plasmasphere, and will benefit greatly from the new 3D measurements that will at last become a reality. The group is also investigating potential connections between space weather and tropospheric weather which will push the requirements of instrument technology, and the success of EISCAT_3D will be very important.

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PDF icon UCL support letter115.48 KB

UK - Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Leicester

The goals of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at University of Leicester are to provide innovative, high quality teaching, to conduct research of international importance, collaborate with industry and to communicate the enthusiasm for the subject. The Radio and Space Plasma Physics Group at the University of Leicester is the largest in the UK whose work centres on ground-based studies of the Earth's outer environment and related areas. The Department of Physics and Astronomy, Radio and Space Plasma Physics Group and the University of Leicester believes that EISCAT_3D is a very exciting project would be very happy to be identified as an associate partner.

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PDF icon Leicester support letter42.54 KB

UK - Latterfrosken Software Development Limited, Walsall

The company was founded by Rob Dickens at the end of 2001. Its mission is to exploit fully the monitoring-and-control software developed by the founder during his previous six-and-a-half years at the University of Leicester (Radio and Space-Plasma Physics group) and the EISCAT Scientific Association (Svalbard Radar). Latterfrosken Software Development Limited is a supporter of the EISCAT_3D project, and would be very happy to be identified as an Associate Partner in the application.

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PDF icon Latterfrosken support letter350.03 KB

UK - Natural Environment and Research Council (NERC)

NERC is the UK's main agency for funding and managing research, training and knowledge exchange in the environmental sciences. NERC is a non-departmental governmental public body, funded mainly by government through the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. Although public money is received, NERC remains independent of government. NERC is pleased to express its support for the EISCAT_3D proposals to be submitted in response to the European Commission FP7 call, and in particular the UK participation in the preparatory phase of EISCAT_3D through the involvement of the EISCAT Support Group at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory.

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PDF icon NERC support letter57.84 KB

UK - The Space Plasma Environment and Radio Science Group (SPEARS), Lancaster University

SPEARS has been one of the UK's most prolific users of the existing EISCAT radar systems and looks forward to participate in exploiting the new capabilities of the EISCAT_3D. SPEARS thinks that the EISCAT_3D project is an innovative and necessary step to provide advanced European infrastructure for studies of the upper atmosphere and near earth space environment. The cutting edge technology proposed in EISCAT 3D will provide Europe with a world-leading facility for the foreseeable future. In addition to the science interest and involvement, the Lancaster SPEARS group has technical capabilities relevant to the EISCAT_3D proposal and will be happy to offer assistance if required in the course of realising this project.

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PDF icon Lancaster support letter25.24 KB

USA - Boston University Center for Space Physics (CSP)

The CSP is an organization of some 50 faculty, post-docs, and graduate students engaged in various aspects of solar-terrestrial physics. Several of the faculty have active programs at the U.S. incoherent scatter radar facilities, including the new Advanced Modular ISR (AMISR) facilities at Poker Flat, AK, and Resolute Bay, Canada. CSP believes that the EISCAT_3D project represents an exciting and ambitious step forward in ionospheric remote sensing, one that will surely catalyse a new era of discovery in solar-terrestrial physics.

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PDF icon CSP support letter133.46 KB

USA - National Science Foundation (NSF)

NSF is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1950 “to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare…”. NSF has recently completed the construction of the Advanced Modular Incoherent Scatter Radar (AMISR), with sites in Alaska and Arctic Canada, and is extremely excited that EISCAT_3D will advance incoherent scatter radar (ISR) technology well beyond the capabilities of AMISR. There is no doubt that EISCAT_3D will revolutionize the field of upper atmospheric physics by providing unprecedented 3-dimensional observations of highly dynamic ionospheric structures. NSF looks forward to partnering with EISCAT both scientifically and technically.

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PDF icon NSF support letter120.08 KB

USA - The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Haystack Observatory

Haystack Observatory is an interdisciplinary research centre of MIT focused on radio astronomy, geodesy, and atmospheric science. The MIT Haystack Observatory is fully supportive of the EISCAT_3D project. The Atmospheric Sciences Group has a strong interest in the techniques, capabilities, and health of the international incoherent scatter radar community, and look forward to the scientific advances which will accompany the completion and operation of EISCAT_3D.

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PDF icon Haystack support letter26.45 KB